Apr 15, 2020

Exploring the Benefits of Tire Derived Aggregate

This article originally appeared in Storm Water Solutions March/April 2020 issue as "Tales of TDA"

storm water management project

Tire Derived Aggregate, also known as TDA, is a sustainable lightweight aggregate that has at least 10 beneficial civil engineering properties. When designed and installed properly, TDA can be part of the solution to different issues we all face in everyday life. Storm water management is an issue everyone must find a solution for due to the new laws regarding the need to capture the first inch of rainfall that falls onto impervious surfaces on your property.

Edgewood Elementary in Prior Lake, Minnesota, was looking for a cost-effective way to meet storm water requirements while maintaining a safe environment for the student body. Storm water ponds can often cause parents to be nervous for their child’s safety. Underground storm water systems can help alleviate this concern as well as help save on valuable real estate space that could be utilized in other ways like parking lots or green space. TDA has a 50% void space allowing for better storage than conventional aggregate. 

Edgewood Elementary was able to benefit from the use of 2,000 cubic yards of TDA in its new underground storm water system; both Hennepin County Department of Environmental Services and the Savage-Prior Lake School District were awarded a Certificate of Recognition by Gov. Tim Pawlenty for this project.

Metro Metals in St. Paul, Minnesota, was faced with the need for on-site storm water storage and water quality improvement. Metro Metals is a car and scrap metal recycling company needing to keep storm water on site to prevent contaminants from their industry from entering the waterways. This company is located directly off a highway on a rail line, making space tight. Using approximately 4,000 cubic yards of TDA, Wenck Engineering was able to design a system that was able to exceed current regulatory requirements for on-site storm water storage and conserve their valuable space. 

TDA has favorable interlocking capabilities that create a foundation for overlying structures. Metro Metals' new storm water system was built directly under what is currently their salvage lot, where hundreds of cars are often stacked.

Loucks Associates and the St. Paul Port Authority designed what they described as a “Next Generation Storm Water Management System” using approximately 8,000 cubic yards of TDA for the redevelopment of the old 3M Headquarters. The water cleaning properties of TDA were important for the green remediation of environmental contaminants within the site soils. This new storm water management system helps control runoff from an area of approximately 163 acres that flows into the Mississippi River. New research is emerging showing that TDA can help reduce phosphorus, nitrates and other unwanted elements from water. This storm water management system received three major awards, including the 2011 Environmental Initiative Award for Sustainable Communities.

The old Midway Stadium in St. Paul is now the home of the Midway Office Complex. The stadium chose to use TDA in its underground storm water management system along with permeable pavement and porous pavers in order to optimize their space. 

storage systems
TDA's interlocking capabilities create a foundation for overlying structures.

In order to expand their facilities, American Engineering Testing Inc. Headquarters in St. Paul was told it needed an underground infiltration system to meet its storm water requirements. AET was able to use approximately 7,000 cubic yards of TDA to build the new storm water management system under its new parking lot. TDA was ideal in this project due to its lightweight and interlocking properties, as well as significant cost savings.

The city of Woodbury, Minnesota, was looking to expand its maintenance facility parking and properly manage storm water runoff. Using pervious pavement over the storm water basins filled with TDA allowed a driving surface and parking lot to be built directly on top of this storm water system. This project was the first time TDA was used to treat storm water in the community.

This new use for TDA has proven time and time again that there are many benefits to using this material in storm water management systems. 


About the author

Danelle Lynde is executive administrator for First State Tire/TDA Manufacturing. Monte Niemi is CEO of First State Tire/TDA Manufacturing. Lynde can be reached at [email protected] and Niemi can be reached at [email protected]