Sweeping Porous Pavement: Elgin’s Whirlwind1 Street Sweeper

Using porous pavement on footpaths, alleys, parking lots and driveways is one of the best ways to control stormwater runoff. Cities across the US are catching, and the use of porous pavement has grown exponentially in the last few years. However, promoting maximum water flow is only possible when porous pavement systems are properly maintained, and that includes regular cleaning with a street sweeper. 

Elgin, manufacturer of the best sweeping technology available today, has conducted research in conjunction with universities and cities across the country to better understand the best practices for maintaining porous pavement. This research has shined a light on the role regenerative air street sweepers and vacuum sweepers play in maintaining these surfaces. 

Understanding Permeable Surfaces 

There are three types of surfaces used for stormwater remediation: interlocking paver blocks, porous asphalt and porous concrete. 

Non-porous paver blocks are typically arranged on a porous subsurface, and the gaps between them are filled with a sandy substance. Water can flow through the gaps, and the use of these paver blocks is increasing in the US, particularly in areas with low-speed traffic, high-pedestrian areas and parking lots. 

Porous concrete and asphalt are challenging to clean because of their multi-layer construction and pores. Water percolates through layers to a sub-layer that facilitates directed or general drainage. 

All three types of surfaces can become clogged with silt, oils and other fine debris. These plugs prevent drainage, but routine cleaning can reduce the depth of plugging significantly. 

Pure Vacuum Sweepers for Unplugging Permeable Surfaces 

These street sweepers are like huge vacuum cleaners, and they remove debris from permeable surfaces and deposit it into a debris hopper. The fan air is exhausted from the street sweeper’s body, and water stops fine debris particles from pulling through the fan of the vacuum and being exhausted into the environment. 

To restore infiltration in a clogged porous pavement area, high vacuum levels of water are required. The Elgin Whirlwind1 is perfect for this task, as it can deliver up to 80 in. to restore infiltration. This and other pure vacuum sweepers dampen the porous surface with water to decrease airborne dust. The giant sweeper hoppers can hold as many as a few hundred gallons of water for this task. 

To learn more about the Whirlwind1 and how it can maintain, clean and restore permeable pavement in your area, contact Haaker today to schedule your free demo! 

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