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.

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.

February 16, 2019

Vacuum Sweeper Maintenance

If I specify a vacuum sweeper on a construction project, I expect it to be operational.

I require all systems to be functional per manufacturers specifications.

If not, the sweeper goes away, maybe the job is shut down, until a working sweeper is brought to the site.

Specifications:
1) Power brooms shall not be utilized without prior approval by
the Engineer.

2) Contractor shall have sufficient working vacuum sweepers on
site at all times work is being performed.

3) All sweepers shall have on-board water spray systems that
shall be operating at all times.

4) systems shall function per manufacturer specifications
including, but not limited to, spray water systems, blowers,
vacuum nozzles, hoses, debris hopper, hydraulics and
electrical.

5) At no time shall debris hopper seals leak debris and liquids.

February 2, 2019

Why Power Brooms are a Bad Idea

Filed under: Video — Tags: , , , , , , — Sheetflow @ 10:13 am

As you can see, these types of sweepers don’t pick up dirt and sediment from asphalt, they just spread it around.

Water spray system attachments help some but then the sweeper mostly turns the dirt to mud and smears it around.

These are useful for picking up gravel and sand.

A vacuum sweeper is the way to go.

January 14, 2019

Bonded Fiber Matrix BFM Needs to Cure Before it Rains

Bonded fiber matrix (BFM) needs to dry for 24 to 36 hours before it rains or else it can start to wash off.

December 2, 2018

Construction Erosion Inspection Hog Fuel Mulch Prevents Fugitive Dust

You are hauling dirt on a dry day and the dust is flying.
The water truck driver’s head is about to explode trying to keep up with the dust control.
Save yourself a Labor and Industries claim!
Use ground up vegetation (hog fuel)! Don’t haul it to the landfill.

April 1, 2017

Bonded Fiber Matrix BFM Uniform Coverage

Filed under: Video — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Sheetflow @ 7:00 am

How to inspect bonded fiber matrix (BFM) application.

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 25, 2015

Low Impact Development for Public Works Construction

Filed under: Article — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Sheetflow @ 3:27 am

Low Impact Development for Public Works Construction:
Erosion and Sediment Control Compliance

David S. Jenkins, Seattle, Washington

Introduction
Construction is a messy business; in the Puget Sound region of western Washington, with average annual rainfall of 40″ to 60″, it can also be challenging. Uncontrolled erosion from a construction site can generate 10-1000 times the quantity of sediment that occurs naturally from vegetated areas. Most construction in western Washington occurs near wetlands, streams, lakes, or the Puget Sound where sediment loss can reduce beneficial uses, or worse, destroy a salmon stream.

This paper will discuss proven methods that public works professionals can utilise to improve erosion control compliance and reduce project impacts.
(more…)

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