Sheetflow Construction Erosion and Sediment Control

July 2, 2019

Biofence Specification

I am trying to get to 100% biodegradable, recycled, reusable, recyclable, low impact best management practices.  I have used burlap fabric fence several times, anytime it makes sense, really.  I use it whenever I can leave it in place to degrade, like on habitat or wetland work.  In one of the photos, plastic zip ties are used to attach the fabric to the wooden stakes; this is a mistake and has been changed to staples in the specification.

Biofence Specification

Materials
U. BIOFENCE
A. Biofence shall consist of 7 ounce or heavier uncoated burlap fabric at least 36 inches wide and 100 feet long. Wood stakes dimensions shall be a minimum 1 1/8 x 11/8 inches by 42 inches high.

Construction Requirements
18. Biofence
a. Stakes shall be driven into the ground a minimum of 12 inches and be spaced no more than 6 feet apart.
b. Fence ends shall be joined by wrapping ends together around a post 3 times and driven into the ground.
c. Burlap fabric shall be attached to the post in at least 3 places using staples or other method approved by the Engineer.
d. When used as a barrier fence, fabric shall not be trenched into the ground. When used as a silt fence, a minimum 8 inch flap shall be left at the bottom and held in place with straw wattles staked in as detailed in item 9 above.

Payment
C. Payment for “TESC – Biofence” will be made at the contract unit price per linear foot as stated in the Schedule of Unit Prices and shall be full compensation for furnishing all labor, equipment, materials and tools necessary to complete the installation of the biofence as detailed on the drawings or as directed by the Engineer and specified herein. The unit price shall include all maintenance, the removal of biofence, and restoration of the area at the completion of the work

May 14, 2019

Guide to Handling Fugitive Dust from Construction Projects

Download: Guide to Handling Fugitive Dust from Construction Projects.PDF

The classic brochure developed in 1997 by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington Education Foundation and the Fugitive Dust Task Force, Seattle, Washington. Updated and edited for the Internet by: www.sheetflow.com, February 2009.

May 7, 2019

Fugitive Dust Control for Equipment Operators

Download: Fugitive Dust Control for Equipment Operators

April 9, 2019

Process Wastewater

What is process wastewater?

The definition of process wastewater and how it applies to construction has always been a bit confusing to me.  There are some construction activities that are obvious generators of process water like pressure washing, but then there seems to be some grey when it comes to filling a water truck from a hydrant and using the water for dust control. 

I suspect regulators, if you ask them, will give some conflicting definitions of construction process water.  I am going to try to work through this over a few days, or weeks or however long it takes to come up with a satisfying answer. 

First off, how do the Feds define it? Process wastewater as defined by 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 122.2. https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/122.2

 it says: “Process wastewater means any water which, during manufacturing or processing, comes into direct contact with or results from the production or use of any raw material, intermediate product, finished productbyproduct, or waste product.

EPA uses this definition in their NPDES Glossary. Find at https://www.epa.gov/npdes

The Washington State Department of Ecology uses that definition in the Construction Stormwater General permit and adds: “If stormwater commingles with process wastewater, the commingled water is considered process wastewater”.

This is the legal definition of process wastewater.  It is a good, solid, bit of legalese, developed by lawyers for lawyers.   Though I haven’t researched this, I think it is likely this definition originated when the Clean Water Act was in its beginning stage of development and was applied to industrial, “end of pipe” discharge facilities, like chemical plants, and manufacturers. 

Herein, I believe, lies my confusion; construction doesn’t fit this description.  I guess technically it is, or can be, an end of pipe facility, but construction is transient, has a limited duration, and generally has the potential for diffuse discharges rather than just one or two discreet discharge points.

With that, I will think some more and post some more when my headache goes away.

April 2, 2019

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Nest Removal

A little something different this week: we are going to do some demolition next to the waterfront this spring. Starting in April or May, seagulls begin nesting on buildings around the waterfront. When seagulls nest, you can’t demolish the buildings until you apply for and get permission for a “Take” of a bird covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This takes time, holds up the contractor, everyone gets frustrated. In order to head this off, I wrote some contract specifications, which hopefully, will keep this from happening

NESTING BIRD WATCH AND CONTROL

  1. Owner shall provide bird watch services up until 30 days after Contract Execution, to ensure there are no nesting birds that may impact the Contractor’s ability to perform work. At 30 days after Contract Execution, the Contractor shall take over full responsibility for this work.
  2. Contractor shall be responsible for preventing migratory birds from nesting on the roofs of buildings to be demolished. 
  3. Prevention shall include, at a minimum, once daily roof inspections to determine whether migratory birds are conducting nest building activity. 
  4. Nests that do not contain eggs and that are not in the possession of migratory birds shall be destroyed.
  5. Nests that contain one or more eggs shall not be disturbed and shall be immediately reported to the Engineer.
  6. Nests that are complete and in the possession of a migratory bird, with or without eggs, shall not be disturbed and shall be immediately reported to the Engineer.
  7. All Project delays and associated costs due to nesting birds discovered after the Contractor assumes responsibility for bird watch/control shall be the full responsibility of the Contractor.

March 1, 2019

Managing Construction Projects to Prevent Sediment Trackout

I originally submitted this abstract for the 2019 IECA Denver conference . It was not accepted as a presentation but as an article in the October 2018 edition “Environmental Connection Magazine”.

Abstract
Sediment tracking from construction sites onto public roads and highways is a continual source or frustration for both regulators and contractors. The standard best management practices (BMPs) available, such as stabilized construction entrances and sweepers, often don’t work at all and, at best, only reduce total sediment by 30-50% which is inadequate for preventing water quality violations. In addition to water quality problems, sediment tracking onto roadways can generate dust, which may violate clean air standards and cause unsafe conditions, especially on highways.
This paper will discuss BMPs, methods, and procedures, which can be used by contractors to prevent sediment from being tracked onto roadways in the first place. In addition, ways to significantly reduce sediment loss will be presented. Some of these methods include:

• Passive tire baths
• Various tire washes
• Keeping vehicles of dirt
• Vacuum vs. mechanical sweepers
• Road washing
• Contract specifications

Each method will be discussed with pros and cons, design information and contract specifications.

The full magazine can be found at:
Environmental Connection, October/November 2018, Volume 13, Issue 4.

The article is attached below.

November 14, 2017

Guide to Handling Fugitive Dust from Construction Projects

Download: Guide to Handling Fugitive Dust from Construction Projects.PDF

The classic brochure developed in 1997 by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Washington Education Foundation and the Fugitive Dust Task Force, Seattle, Washington. Updated and edited for the Internet by: www.sheetflow.com, February 2009.

February 18, 2017

Fugitive Dust Control for Heavy Equipment Operators

Filed under: Article — Sheetflow @ 2:58 am




















Graders and Scrapers

  • Use water truck or sprinklers to moisten soils before grading.
  • Minimize areas of clearing and grubbing to a manageable size.
  • Minimize time frames between Fugitive Dust-creating activities and final solutions (ex., roadway excavation and paving).
  • Avoid activity during high winds.


Front-End Loaders and Backhoes

  • Use water truck to keep soils moist.
  • Use water sprays when dumping soils into haul trucks.
  • Minimize drop height.
  • Avoid activity during high winds.

FROM: Guide to Handling Fugitive Dust from Construction Projects, AGC of WA Ed. Foundation. 1997

MODIFIED for the WEB: David S. Jenkins 2/2009

October 3, 2016

Construction General NPDES Permit Appealed

Filed under: Article — Tags: , , , , — Sheetflow @ 1:29 pm

On December 29th, 2010, the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance filed a Notice of Appeal with the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board. The appeal calls for a re-write and reissue as they consider the permit to be ” unlawful and unfair” because it does not meet the “requirements or intent” of the Clean Water Act, Environmental Protection Agency rules, Washington state water quality law ( RCW 98.40 and WAC 173-201A), or Department of Ecology rules.

The document can be read here:
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Notice of Appeal

June 16, 2016

Paying for TESC

Filed under: Article — Sheetflow @ 2:49 am

The Best Way to Measure and Pay for Erosion Control in Public Works Contracts

It is a big mistake to make temporary erosion and sediment an “incidental” item in a public works contract. Anything that can be measured should be and set up as a Unit Price item. Planning and Implementation can be lump sum but measurement and payment must be clearly specified. Force Account is set up for unforeseen conditions; the amount is set by the owner so that everyone bids the same number. Make clear at the pre-bid meeting that the Lump Sum bid for planning and implementation covers lots of stuff and they need to bid accordingly. Here is an example of the best way to pay: (more…)

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