Sediment and erosion control is a significant part of construction site maintenance and inlet protection. Taking proper preventative measures to control the runoff and protect the surrounding environment. There are several lines of defense in sediment run off prevention and erosion control, each of which has its proper use and place. When prevention, collection and decontamination are used in conjunction with one another, they can be very effective in reducing or eliminating the effects of sedimentary run off, erosion and chemical contamination associated with an active construction site.
Sediment runoff and erosion prevention
Preventing runoff is the first line of defense. This includes using gravel on the site over the dust for vehicles and heavy equipment to drive upon. This gravel driveway allows for the dust and dirt to be covered and not disturbed, reducing erosion. In addition to gravel, protective textiles can be used in order to cover the ground and prevent the stirring up of dust, etc. Grading the surface can also be effective in controlling erosion.
Sediment runoff and erosion collection
In spite of measures taken to prevent sedimentary runoff and erosion, there is always going to be a degree of this occurring at active construction sites. In order to preoperly address this, it is important to collect any sediment that gathers from erosion in a safe manner, preventing it from entering the storm sewers. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished.
Silt fences are one of these ways and effective tools in collecting sedimentary run off. These fences are installed and used as filters of sorts, straining out the sediment and debris that washes down towards the fence.
To protect the inlet, an inlet filter is often used. These can either be in a roll format or something like a fabric sling that hangs below an inlet, collecting debris and sedimentary run off before it enters the waterway. These are environmentally friendly because they can be used multiple times and are easy to install, maintain and remove when the job is complete.
Sediment runoff and erosion chemical contamination
There is an additional need to protect the water from chemical contaminants that are present at active construction sites. These can be from water run off, accidental spills or just a by-product of the construction process. Many inlet filters have a chemical absorbent pad which can be inserted into a filter. These pads must be monitored and changed for maximum protection from chemical contamination, but are highly effective when used properly.