Sediment and storm runoff into nearby waterways are a constant concern during construction projects. If you want to avoid dangerous environmental problems and costly fines, temporary erosion and sediment control techniques are a must. Here are the top five erosion control practices to consider for your next construction job.
1. Rip Rap: Rock Solid Erosion Solution
Rip rap is a popular erosion and sediment control technique. It involves lining shorelines, slopes, and bridge waterways using rocks that range from 4 inches to 2 feet.
How does rip rap control erosion?
When rip rap is laid in the right location on the ground, it can effectively redirect water flow away from the construction site and reduce sediment runoff. Rip rap is a durable and natural-looking temporary erosion control method.
2. Rock Check Dams: Barriers Against Sediment
Rock check dams, also called ditch checks, or ditch dikes, act as barriers to slow down and capture sediment and prevent it from flowing downstream. These temporary structures are strategically placed in ditches to create a barrier against sediment.
What are rock check dams made of?
Rock check dams are usually made from materials such as rock, gravel or sand-filled bags, or fiber logs. However, they shouldn't be made from straw bales or silt fences, as these aren't suitable for concentrated water flow.
3. Compost: Eco-friendly Erosion Control
Consider compost if you're looking for an environmentally friendly approach to erosion and sediment control. Compost is known for its ability to slow down water flow, absorb nutrients, and filter out pollutants. For erosion control purposes, compost bags are biodegradable and can be filled to create temporary barriers against erosion. When they're placed on slopes or channels, they work to absorb water and reduce sediment runoff.
4. Mulch: Nature's Blanket for Erosion Prevention
Mulch can act as a protective layer against soil erosion that also protects seedlings. It provides a natural barrier to promote plant growth and minimize soil runoff. Research shows that a mulch application that covers at least 85% of the topsoil helps prevent seeds from washing away and slows runoff on slopes.
What type of mulch should you use?
Mulches made from organic materials such as wood chips, straw, or compost are best for erosion control. Inorganic mulches like gravel can be used if organic mulches are unavailable, but they're not as effective. Review the specific requirements of your construction site to decide what type of mulch is best.
5. Vegetated Buffers: Green Shields for Sediment Control
Vegetated buffers are a slope stabilization and sediment control practice that relies on existing vegetation to protect waterbodies during construction. Vegetated buffers are designed to slow down and capture sediment runoff before it reaches a construction site or body of water.
Where can you use vegetated buffers?
You can create vegetated buffers in any location that supports vegetation. They may be required based on the distance of your construction site to a water body. Vegetated buffers are often the most effective near wetlands, along streambanks, on floodplains, and unstable slopes.
If you need an erosion and sediment control partner, contact Environmental Products and Applications, Inc. We are the leading global soil stabilization company that offers lab-tested advanced polymer-based erosion and dust control products.