Sheetflow Construction Erosion and Sediment Control

November 6, 2010

Grass and Dirt Berm Instead of Silt Fence

Most erosion plans show silt fence installed around the project perimeter. This makes sense when a project has some risk of eroded sediment leaving the project. When the risk is low, the area is small, the soil is loose with high infiltration, silt fence is overkill, wasted expense, and creates landfill waste. When possible, alternative methods of perimeter protection should be considered: berms, straw wattles, vegetation, buffers. In this example, existing grass and vegetation was pushed to the edge of the project and covered with straw. Since the project involved tilling compost 12″ into the native soil with a 12″ bark cover, the risk of erosion was very low this worked well and was left in place. The seed and root mass in the soil will grow fairly quickly and become part of the overall native plant mitigation area.

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