Erosion and sediment control is an important component of construction or development projects—so important that these strategies are incorporated into project site plans. Erosion control can prevent runoff, landslides, contamination of nearby rivers and streams, and other problems.
The methods for executing erosion and sediment control on worksites range from planning strategies to perimeter controls. Most worksites use a combination of methods to achieve the best results and protect surrounding properties and ecosystems. This article blog looks at the strategies typically used in erosion control plans.
Planning and Sequencing
One of the most crucial parts of erosion control is including it in the project planning process. One responsibility of your development team is to plan construction activities so they minimize sediment movement. Knowledge of the property and how it fits into the grand scheme can help a developer make plans for erosion and sediment control installations.
Another factor is sequencing. Part of the Best Management Practices or BMPs is for project developers to reduce the amount of land they are disturbing at any one time. To limit impact, the developer needs to plan the project in stages. The staging aspect of project development has the potential to impact everything about the job, from when other trade teams need to be on site, to plans for the delivery of materials or equipment. As such, planning and sequencing are some of the very first things that need to happen in an erosion control plan.
Perimeter Control Methods
Perhaps the most common erosion control installations are perimeter controls. These devices are installed at the boundaries of the worksite and at crucial junctures and are meant to act as barriers to prevent sediment from running off. By keeping sand and other sediment on the worksite, perimeter controls limit erosion and contamination. Perimeter control options include the following;
- Silt Fences: Silt fences are one of the most well-known and widely-used form of perimeter sediment control. They are made of a geotextile fabric that allows water to flow through freely but stops soil and sediment. Silt fences are typically used around property perimeters, at the top of slopes, or near drainage systems. These strategic locations help limit runoff and keep sediment contained to the worksite.
- Fiber Rolls: Fiber Rolls or Straw Waddles are also one of the most well-known and widely-used form of perimeter sediment control. Fiber Rolls are made of straw, wood, coconut fiber, rock, compost, or other materials. They are used for the same basic purpose as silt fences but can sometimes be implemented in places where silt fences wouldn’t be a feasible option, e.g. on steep slopes.
- Rock Construction Entrances: These beds of rocks are placed at entrances vehicles use to get onto the construction site. They are designed to remove sediment from vehicle tires before they leave the site. They are useful for keeping roads clean and preventing contamination of neighboring lands.
- Grading: Property developers can strategically grade the worksite so water and runoff are diverted to specific locations. For instance, the slopes of the property might be designed to send runoff toward drains or silt fences. Grading design might also incorporate “grade breaks,” or changes in slope that break up water flows and prevent gullies from forming.
- Seeding and Vegetation: Grass, wheat, oats, and other vegetation can sometimes be planted on a site to form roots in the soil and stabilize it. This strategy is usually used for completed projects (e.g., stabilizing yards at completed houses) rather than during work. This method might also be implemented along with an erosion control blanket.
- Erosion Control Blankets: Erosion control blankets are made from straw, wood, coconut, or other materials netted into a blanket or mat. This blanket can be laid over the soil to protect it from rainfall and limit erosion. Erosion control blankets also hold moisture, which helps grass and other plants grow. Mulch can serve a similar purpose.
- Temporary Downdrains: These temporary drainage systems can be installed into the side of a hill. They deliver water and runoff to the bottom of the slope in a way that protects the grade of the site and minimize erosion until final stabilization has occurred.
All construction projects need an erosion control plan. What this plan looks like will depend on the project, the timeline, the site, and the surrounding environment, among other factors. The resulting erosion and sediment control can do wonders to prevent environmental damage or impact from the project. It can help developers ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and avoid clashes with neighboring property owners and environmental conservationists.
If you have questions about how Hogan Land Services can help with the erosion control plan for your project, call us at 877-544-2104 or fill out our online contact form.