Permeable Pavement Infiltration Testing

Not sure if your permeable pavement is functioning the way it should? There is a simple test you can perform to determine if it is time for vacuuming.

You will need:

  • An 8-foot piece of unwarped 2-foot by 4-foot lumber
  • Screws and drill
  • 80 ounces of plumber's putty
  • 5-gallon bucket of water
  • Stopwatch or timepiece


  • Cut the 2x4 into four even sections and screw together into a rectangular frame
  • Apply a 1-inch bead of plumber's putty to the frame or inside of frame
  • Place the frame in the area to be tested and apply pressure to seal
  • Apply weight to the frame to maintain the seal
  • Quickly pour contents of one 5-gallon bucket and begin timing
  • Record time for all standing water to infiltrate into the permeable pavement


If water infiltrates in less than 30 seconds, the permeable pavement is functioning as designed.
If water sits for more than 90 seconds, the permeable pavement is clogged, and a vacuum sweeper will be needed.

If you are interested in testing permeable pavement applications you can learn more from the Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Volunteer Program.

Blog Auther: Elizabeth Hiser, Euclid Creek Watershed Program Manager

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