Protecting Groundwater Quality Using Porous Pipe and Engineered Soil Systems

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Conference Proceeding
Website Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Urban Drainage, 2008, pp. 1 - 10
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An innovative stormwater infiltration system has been installed at the Weathertex industrial site, Heatherbrae, located to the north of Sydney, Australia. The system contains specially designed porous concrete pipes. Stormwater exfiltrates through the permeable walls of the pipe into the surrounding substrate media material. It then infiltrates to the underlying Tomago Sand Beds that are an important drinking water source. A groundwater monitoring program was implemented to investigate the effect of the porous pipe stormwater treatment system on the nderlying groundwater. Overall, it was found that the porous pipe system did not adversely impact the groundwater level or quality. The depth of the water table remained relatively constant throughout the investigations. Similarly, pH (approximately 6) and electrical conductivity (approximately 200 μS/cm) levels remained relatively constant. In addition, the influence on nitrogen, organic carbon and copper concentrations were investigated. There were noticeable differences associated with the depth and quality of the borehole adjacent to the field installation and the control borehole. These differences were potentially due to the smaller depths to the water table associated with the control borehole, and therefore the greater chance for surface activities to influence the groundwater. In addition, the larger depth associated with the adjacent borehole meant that there was an extended buffer zone present that potentially provided additional treatment of the infiltrated stormwater.
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