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Commercial Construction Companies Have an Environmental Duty in Sediment Control

Commercial building

Sediment control is the implementation of strategies designed to combat soil erosion. In commercial construction, contractors have an environmental duty with sediment control. Laws must be respected.

What Is Erosion?

Erosion is what happens when rain runoff causes soil to be carried away with the water runoff. It is usually a process that takes place over time, but construction can cause increased erosion.


Why is Erosion a Problem?

Soil erosion can contaminate waterways and harm the environment. Erosion can cause degradation of water supplies, destruction of fish habitats, clogged drainage facilities, landslides, road washouts and increased flood hazards.


How Can Soil Erosion Be Controlled?

Construction companies must act to control soil erosion, and they must adhere to state and federal laws. There are a number of measures that should be used to control erosion and for sediment control.


Vegetation removal should be limited as much as possible. Bare soil may be seeded and covered with two to four inches of straw.


What Sediment Control Measures Can Be Used?

The most basic sediment control measure is to install a silt fence around the perimeter of the commercial construction site. These fences capture sediment and keep loose soil on the site. Hay bales, straw rolls and gravel bags may also be used. Rocked access areas and a rocked construction entrance should also be used so sediment does not get tracked onto adjacent roads.


What Runoff Control Measures Should Be used?


Disperse drainage to vegetated areas as these are less erosive than bare soil. Disperse drainage to numerous locations. Keep drainage away from fill slopes. Use water bars, rolling dips or curbs to channel drainage along driveways or roads. Install energy dissipaters to control erosion at the outlet of a pipe, conduit or channel.


Smart and responsible sediment control is very important in commercial construction. It is needed to protect the environment, and it’s the law.