Three Key Strategies
Soils washing off construction sites typically travel down roadways into street drains and out through pipes to the nearest river, stream, lake, or pond. Accumulation of these sediments severely impacts the quality of local waters, smothering life and blocking flow. To avoid such devastating impacts — and the fines and work stoppages that could result — follow several basic construction site stormwater best management practices.
Protect storm drain inlets
Protecting storm drain inlets is a temporary measure, but critical to ensuring sediment does not get into local waters during construction projects. Such drain inlets may be on-site in the midst of the disturbed area or down-gradient along the street. Strategies for protecting inlets will depend on site conditions and whether runoff velocities are likely to be high or low. They can include straw or hay bale barriers, gravel and wire mesh filter, block and gravel inlet protection, or basin inserts. For more information, click here.
Conduct regular inspections
Walk your construction site either once every 7 calendar days or once every 14 calendar days and within 24 hours of a 0.25-inch storm event to determine where you may have issues with controlling erosion or stormwater impacts. If problem locations are identified, take appropriate measures to remedy. More information is available at EPA's Construction General Permit website https://www.epa.gov/npdes/2017-construction-general-permit-cgp#documents.
STABILIZE SOILS ON SITE
Install and maintain erosion and sediment controls throughout the entire construction project so they operate effectively to control stormwater discharges.
This should include such strategies as:
- minimizing clearing in the design of a project
- minimizing the amount of exposed soils through better phasing of a project
- stabilization of construction entrances
- proper installation and maintenance of silt fences, coir logs, and other erosion control practices.
For more information, see the Massachusetts Clean Water Toolkit.
For silt fences to be effective, they must be properly installed and maintained. Note proper installation shown in above images.
Source of images: “Erosion and Sediment Control: A Guide for Individual Building Sites” by LCRA.
More information is available on EPA’s Construction General Permit Website: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/2017-construction-general-permit-cgp