Sustainable approaches for stormwater quality improvements with experimental geothermal paving systems

Kiran Tota-Maharaj, Parneet Paul*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research assesses the next generation of permeable pavement systems (PPS) incorporating ground source heat pumps (geothermal paving systems). Twelve experimental pilot-scaled pavement systems were assessed for its stormwater treatability in Edinburgh, UK. The relatively high variability of temperatures during the heating and cooling cycle of a ground source heat pump system embedded into the pavement structure did not allow the ecological risk of pathogenic microbial expansion and survival. Carbon dioxide monitoring indicated relatively high microbial activity on a geotextile layer and within the pavement structure. Anaerobic degradation processes were concentrated around the geotextile zone, where carbon dioxide concentrations reached up to 2000 ppm. The overall water treatment potential was high with up to 99% biochemical oxygen demand removal. The pervious pavement systems reduced the ecological risk of stormwater discharges and provided a low risk of pathogen growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1410
Number of pages23
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


  • Geothermal paving
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Pavement design
  • Permeable pavement
  • Sustainable urban drainage
  • Urban runoff


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