Evaluation of rubber-chip media for bioretention BMPs treating highway runoff

Daniel Jones, Tian C. Zhang, John Stansbury, Massoum Moussavi, Dana Richter-Egger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stormwater runoff is one of the main contributors to stream impairment in the United States and is primarily treated using best management practices (BMPs). One of the problems with BMPs (e.g., bioretention basins) is that the media used in bioretention basins are not well evaluated, including the optimal composition and physical characteristics. The objective of this research is to evaluate the use of rubber chips as a possible supplemental BMP media because of their light weight and availability. Four types of rubber-chip-mediated soil mixtures were tested, i.e., 100% rubber chips and 50% rubber chips mixed with 50% of either silty loam soil, sand, or compost. Results indicate that a 50/50 mix of rubber chips and sand could treat contaminants in highway runoff efficiently, but lacked the best qualities for plant growth and may require addition of compost. Based on both physical and chemical properties of the media mixture, compost rubber (CR) and silty loam rubber (SLR) were found to be the best as BMP media. Tests on physical properties of BMP media can generate critical information about the media. The methodology used in this study may be used to test physical properties of other BMP media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04016014
JournalJournal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Best management practice
  • Bioretention basins
  • Rubber chips
  • Stormwater runoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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