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Water coming out of pavements

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by BRL, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    This may be more for the members who are pavers??

    I have a client with water bubbling up out of cracks in the pavemant & through cracks in the curbs. This water is coming from the big piles of snow thawing from our recent big storm, and the 2" rain a week after it, and a 1" rain this past weekend. All of the soileverywhere around here is completely saturated. This lot has bad drainage from the start, so now this water seeps up, or onto the parking lot surface, but has nowhere to go. So I end up with a dozen or so 1'-2' diameter, 1"-2" thick ice rinks to spot salt. And you can't just spot salt an inch or so of ice LOL. There is also a 300 square foot ice rink caused by the water flowing down from the field where we pushed a lot of the snow. I am going to dig a trench & temporary soil dam there to stop that water from seeping in anymore. Now for my questions, so that I can address the situation with the owner & propose possible solutions:

    1. What is this process of water bubbling up through the pavement technically called?
    2. Would paving over the bad pavement help (I believe this is called Top Coating), or will the original problem continue to happen & break the new pavement?
    3. If it will continue with the new pavement, what is the correct way to fix the problem? My guess is the footings for the curbs & the curbs would have to be replaced, and then the water should not be able to pass the footings & end up under the pavement?? Any other ideas?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    I'm not a paver per se, but I've done a little of it here and there.

    My answers to questions 1-3:

    1. The technical name for it is....uh..."water bubbling up out of the pavement". There's probably a more technical name for it but it eludes me at the moment. Check back after 3 a.m. I'll probably wake up from a sound sleep knowing the answer and have to post it right away.

    2. No. To put anything over top of the existing pavement would be similar to waterproofing the inside of you basement walls. Just as you waterproof the outside of the walls to keep the moisture entirely out of the wall structure, you want to keep the water out of the pavement structure. I'll adress that in the answer to #3. Besides, as water freezes it expands. As soon as that captured water freezes it'll pop the patch right up.

    3. You're sort of on the right track when you talk about new curbs, but only in terms of those curbs having some sort of drain beneath them.

    I'm reading this as you thinking the footings will act as some sort of dam to keep the water out. (If I'm misreading, I apologize.) The trouble is that it has to go *someplace*. A 4" perforated pipe in a bed of gravel under the curb will collect any water that finds it's way to it. This pipe must come to daylight someplace, like the nearest storm sewer. Water follows the path of least resistance, so it'll follow the pipe and not take the trouble to find a path through the pavement. This assumes we're talking about a deep curb--12 or 18 inches of formed concrete curb--not the cheap extruded concrete or asphalt curbs that just sit on top of the edge of the pavement. It also assumes that the lot is fairly flat.

    We have one lot with a similar problem but it slopes about 8 feet from one side to the other. The water percolates out of the surface near the lowest edge of the lot. Obviously the source of the water is far deeper than any curb that could be put on the upper side of the lot. The solution there would be to put a drain under the lot itself so that the water could find an easier path than up through the pavement. It's been that way as long as we've been doing the lot even though they had sombody repave it a couple years back.

    (BTW, I'm not sure of its technical credentials, but "percolates" is a fairly commomly used word for that sort of situation. We do "Perc tests" to see if water will "percolate" *into* the ground well enough for a septic system to work. We also call it "percolating" when it comes back out of the ground somewhere. Maybe I won't have to get up at 3 a.m. to answer questrion #1 after all...) :)
  3. paul

    paul PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 151

    If it's coming thru the control joints then there's not much you can do. If it's perking thru the pavement ( ashphalt) the the water table under the pavement is very high or the pavement isn't graded right. a certian amount of water under the pavement happens (gravel) holds water when the water table is high, but it can cause problem if it's not removed becasue of frost heaving. with the amount of snow you have there and all the rain I'm not suprised that this is happening. Getting the water out could be a very expensive job at this time of year.
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    What I think is happening is the ground is thawing from the top down. Once the water hits the frost line, it can't perk any further and builds up until it reaches ground level. Then it pumps up through the first opening it comes to, in your case, a break in the pavement.

    Sealing the break will only cause the water to seek the next opening. The only real solution would be an elaborate drainage system with catch basin, curtain drains and a place to send all the runoff to.

    Most of Northern Jersey is built on a swamp, so finding a point low enough to pipe to is difficult.
  5. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    this lot sounds like it has a couple of different problems. i think you could call the problem percolation also.

    depending on how much of problem this is, the elevation of the surrounding area's, the percolation rate of the area, and the budget of you're client, there's a few different ways to go about this.

    i definitely would not repave over the existing pavement.

    since the pavement sounds like it's shot, you could remove it, remove the base material, and remove 18" of existing soil.install an 18" base of gravel (compacted), install a 6" base of item 4 (compacted) and pave over that.

    if possible, i would pitch the lot toward the street, if thats not possible, then you have to put some drains in. these drains can either go into a municipal sewer, dry-well, or a storage tank/dry-well system. (depending on the results of a perc test)

    as for the curb's, i would'nt go crazy, just a good formed concrete curb.

    it's hard to give advice on this lot without being able to see it. can you post a few pics?
  6. pbeering

    pbeering Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Your client needs to hire an engineering firm to design a drain system and shoot some lines on the slopes of the lot. I'd be careful about being too helpful since you could end up taking on liability for the solution that may not work.

    Put something like "not responsible for ponding, pooling, or accumulation of water, snow-melt, runoff, or deicing residual" in your contract next year.
  7. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Thanks for the responses & sorry for the delay in responding back!

    My contract already covers those bases, so I'm OK that way.

    Since I've been studying this situation a little more over the past few salt runs & a plowing, I am realizing that over the years what I always thought was standing water after precip events was actually this "percolating" situation. I even found a drain I had never noticed before in one of the bad areas, so they have been attempting to address some of the problems. They did have a paving company in there last summer & they did a good job of fixing some problems in one of the other lots, and did some half hearted patching attempts on some of the particular problems I am dealing with. I do have pictures, but they're mostly all dark from taking shots to show ice when we needed to salt for CYA, and they are not close ups of these problems, just the lots in general. I did take close ups of the problems but it will be a couple of days before I can post them here. I'm going to tell the client that he needs to get the paving company back in to do some more work, and I'll show him or them where a similar new drain needs to be installed. In general, the lots have good slopes & drainage, and there is a drain culvert (not sure if that's the correct word) that makes it easy to install new drains, such as the one I found they did last summer. Maybe I'll offer to do it & just sub the paving part required, as I enjoy doing that kind of work. I dealt with it all winter I might as well get a crack at eliminating some of the problem ;) However, general lot drainage problems are not causing a lot of the areas of "percolation". So before attempting to fix it, I would like to figure out exactly why that is happening first, and fix that also.

    Paul, Your suggestion for starting from scratch basically is how I would suggest going about it also, if i were to spend their money. However I'm sure this winter really took the wind out of any property enhancement budgets there ;) I won't suggest that until all of my checks are received LOL.

    "The only real solution would be an elaborate drainage system with catch basin, curtain drains and a place to send all the runoff to."
    This is basically set up. This lot is a U surrounding the runoff location. There is one area where I would put another drain to run to the ditch. And then there are these puddles bubbling up along one of the curbs.