Erosion is one of the top issues facing the construction industry today. The Department of Agriculture estimates one billion tons of topsoil are lost each year due to erosion. This issue not only causes topsoil to be displaced, but it also is the culprit for clogging waterways and damaging adjacent properties.
Erosion can be caused by many variables and each situation will most likely have a different solution. Here are seven ways to help prevent erosion on your next construction project.
1) Observe the Site
When starting a new project, it is imperative to observe the site’s slopes for any potential problems. Also, take a look at any adjacent sites to see how your project will affect that area, as well. It is ideal if you can observe the site while it is raining in order to plan accordingly.
2) Divert or Slow the Water
Water and wind are the main offenders when it comes to erosion. Before beginning construction, come up with a plan to divert or slow the movement of water. Controlling runoff waters effectively will reduce erosions and sediment issues on your construction site.
3) Don’t Disturb
Disturb the area as little as possible. Only excavate a small section at a time to reduce the risk of remediation. Even though it may take a little more time, the potential costs of erosion could end up costing you more in the long run.
4) Ground Covers
As soon as excavation is complete, it is essential to create a ground cover to help minimize erosion. The faster you can get your ground cover growing, the less erosion is possible. Check with the landscaper to see about any specified seed species to use. If seeding is not an option, plastic sheeting is helpful in shielding the soil from rain and wind. Plastic sheeting is only effective in small areas, however, and can do more damage if used in large areas.
5) Mobile Grinders & Chippers
If you are removing trees from the construction site, bring a mobile grinder or chipper to make mulch. This ground-up material works wonders as an erosion aide. This material can also be used for temporary roads and ground cover. You can use this mulch for slope stabilization or save it to blend with the soil for landscaping towards the end of the project.
6) Sediment Control
Sediment is the soil which is dislodged by water flow. Once the sediment is in fluid motion, it becomes difficult to collect and further exasperates erosion. Silt fencing, filter socks, and straw wattles are all commonly used to catch and control sediment. These control methods are not designed to handle high water pressure, so do not install them across waterways, ditches, or other areas of concentrated water flow.
7) Inflatable Dams
More and more contractors are turning to inflatable water dams for dewatering needs and erosion control. They are cost effective and cheaper than traditional methods of sandbags and earthen dams. They are easy to install in both moving and still water and conforms to the boundary of any site, providing a seal that prevents the passage of water on your worksite.
Erosion control on construction sites takes thought and planning. Click To Tweet In fact, federal regulations and other applicable laws require you to have an erosion control plan to prevent soil and water from affecting other areas and bodies of water.
To learn more about how you can prevent erosion on your construction site, Contact Us.