Why is erosion and sedimentation control important?

Erosion and Sedimentation Control

Developing land is a complicated endeavor, and one of the most important steps in the process is to make sure that you have taken care of erosion and sedimentation control. It becomes even more crucial when developing near or along waterways. In this blog post we will discuss how these elements can be controlled, what they mean for your project, and why it's so important to take them into consideration from the start!

What is erosion and sedimentation?

Erosion is the wearing away of earth's surface by wind, water, or land development. Sedimentation occurs when loose particles from erosion settle to form a sedimentary deposit or get deposited somewhere else. Both are the result of actions that alter or disturb natural soil properties, vegetation, and terrestrial conditions.

What's so important about controlling them?

If you fail to control erosion and sedimentation during land development then they can have a big impact on your project as well as the surrounding environment. Some of the negative impacts of erosion and sedimentation are :

  • Reduced soil stability
  • Decreased water quality and quantity
  • Increased sedimentation in waterways, infrastructure damage from flooding or clogging, etc.

Why is it important to consider them when developing land?

In order for you to develop your site successfully while taking care of the environment at the same time, it's crucial to take into account the potential impacts of erosion and sedimentation. There are three simple steps that you can follow in order to accomplish this:

  • Conduct a site analysis
  • Create an Erosion & Sediment Control Plan
  • Implement and Monitor your plan

Most states have regulations that will require you to have an Erosion & Sediment Control Plan in place before beginning land development. Most local municipalities and approval agencies will require an erosion control permit with the state prior to issuing a permit for land disturbance. The erosion & sediment control plan should be prepared by your civil engineer during the site design/engineering process.

A good erosion control plan will, at a minimum, provide the following:

  • Conduct a study of the site's hydrology and geology
  • Erosion control measures including silt fencing, ditch checks, rip rap, erosion control blankets, and filter protection for inlets and storm systems
  • Establish minimums for when inspections should be performed during the construction process.

Once your erosion control plan has been approved, it will be the responsibility of your contractor to implement and maintain the plan until the project is complete. It's imperative that your project has a plan in place that provides the right kind of control measures for your project. There can be stiff penalties and fines if erosion and sedimentation is allowed to leave your project site.

In summary, erosion control has become all important in the land development process. Make sure you select a civil engineer that has a great deal of experience and an excellent track record with designing and monitoring erosion and sedimentation control plans and procedures.