University of Waterloo Research – Tackling Stormwater with Recycled Tires

Oct 14, 2021

By Mayuri Punithan

University of Waterloo researchers are using recycled tires to perfect a permeable paving product so it can be used for commercial purposes to reduce the load on stormwater systems.

Tamanna Kabir, a PhD candidate and Hanaa Al-Bayati, a research associate, both working with Susan Tighe, Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Waterloo are experimenting with different formulas to determine which one is most effective. For example, would a formula that contains mainly polyurethane be the most durable? To test each formula’s effectiveness, they will install test plots in commercial parking lots and observe the pavement’s performance. Previously, they only experimented in a lab.

The research project Development of Porous Rubber Pavement for the Canadian Climate is supported by a $180,000 Mitacs Accelerate award and a partnership with Waterloo’s Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT) and Stormflow Surfacing.

Typically, pavement used in parking areas is impermeable, thus unable to absorb any rainfall, causing the runoff to run into drains also known as stormwaters systems. Unfortunately, these stormwater systems are undersized, causing the rainfall to flood roads. With climate change leading to more frequent and intense rainfall, flooding concerns have spiked. Many communities now require new buildings to keep on rainwater on site, which leads to thousands of dollars spent on catchment systems under the pavement…

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