Coastal cold climates experience frequent intermittent melting and freezing periods over the cold period. This intermittent freezing in stormwater systems affects the infiltration capacity and hence the performance. This paper investigates the infiltration capacity of engineered filter media (composed of sand mixed with charcoal, pine bark, or olivine) under freezing temperatures in a column-based laboratory setup. Infiltration into partially frozen filter media was replicated using a climate room. The filter media in the columns were brought to −2.5 °C, and water at +2 °C was percolated through the columns with a constant head of 5 cm. Infiltration performance was assessed by observing the time until breakthrough, and the infiltration rate 24 h after breakthrough. The results were compared to the observed hydraulic conductivity for the unfrozen filter media. A novel approach combining the unfrozen water content curves with X-ray tomographic (XRT) images of the materials was adopted to better understand the thermal and infiltration processes. Breakthrough was observed between ca. 21 and 56 h in all columns. The column with homogeneously mixed filter media with sand yielded the quickest breakthrough. The infiltration rates were higher than recommendations for infiltration-based systems in cold climates, making them a suitable option in cold climates.
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