Sediment control products function by preventing and filtering sediment that has been picked up by stormwater systems or released into an adjacent waterway such as a river, lake or the ocean. The movement of this suspended sediment can often breach regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency or other government agencies. If these regulations are not met, they can carry with them non-compliance fines or site closures until the necessary sediment control measures are in place. What’s more, if environmental damage does occur due to uncontrolled sediment, these fines will increase substantially. Therefore, around construction sites and otherwise, sediment controls are imperative.
Construction scenarios where you may need sediment control
Although these controls are important for any construction site, greater control is required for the following scenarios:
- Any construction site on land where water may collect and/or run off
- Waterside developments
- Demolition and/or construction of structures such as a bridge, wharf, jetty or rockwall
- Land reclamation
- Sediment collection basins and ponds
Considerations for implementing sediment control
Sediment control options are a cost-effective risk management option to prevent fines for non-compliance, reduce wet weather construction delays and limit damage to stockpiled materials and the surrounding environment.
- If the site is built on a slope – the steeper and longer the slope, the more likely it is that erosion and sedimentation will take place.
- The type of soil being built on – soil erosion is a major problem for the environment, with both clay and sandy soils causing wider issues, such as drainage problems. Exposed subsoils tend to be more troublesome than exposed topsoils.
- Size of the project – although large amounts of disturbance to soil is more likely to cause erosion and sedimentation, sediment control is actually easier to implement on larger, rural sites than it is on smaller sites.
- Exposure to the elements – areas that experience high rainfall, strong winds and tides will have more issues with erosion and sedimentation, necessitating higher levels of control.
The importance of sediment control
Sediment controls are necessary to satisfy local, state and federal laws and regulations. Implementing these controls results in cleaner waterways and, therefore, a better surrounding ecological system. By taking steps to minimize stormwater pollution, sediment control will save your businesses money while protecting the environment too.