Sheetflow Erosion Control Erosion Control for the CESCL

October 22, 2020

Stay on the Plates

Video: David Jenkins-Sheetflow Erosion Control

Please stay on the steel plates! We are using steel plates for a construction access to this long, narrow site. We exit onto the parking lot of an adjacent company. Sediment trackout is not an option. There is no place to install a tire wash, which I would normally require on a project like this. This requires a lot of oversight to work and one of the things we expect is for trucks to stay on the plates so they don’t pick up any dirt on the tires. This driver didn’t get the message, and the excavator operator could have beeped to stop the driver from backing too far.

October 20, 2020

Steel Plates Trackout

Video: David Jenkins-Sheetflow Erosion Control

Trackout happens when you back trucks off of the steel plates onto dirt to unload materials. The plan was for trucks to stay on plates, back to the end and dump. The excavator was to move the materials around the site. There is no tire wash on this project as there isn’t room, so staying on the plates is required and necessary. The trackout is onto the neighbors parking lot, our only site access, and they don’t appreciate dirt ending up in their stormwater swale when the rains come.

August 10, 2020

Muddy Tracks

Photo: David Jenkins

And they wonder why we keep on them about muddy tracks leaving the project onto the roadway…

June 24, 2020

Silt Fence and Trackout Fail Part 2

This is a follow up to Silt Fence and Trackout Fail post from April 6, 2020. Same old !@#$, different month.

Photo: David Jenkins
Photo: David Jenkins

May 28, 2020

Prevented Trackout

Photo: David Jenkins

We prevented trackout by placing grizzlies from the road back into the site. Truck drivers backed up to the steel plate near the excavator and dumped their loads. The excavator operator moved the material into the proper piles. The truck tires came in clean, stayed clean on the grizzlies and left clean. With thought and planning, we didn’t need to install a tire wash.

May 27, 2020

Preventable Trackout

Photo: David Jenkins

This trackout was preventable. Asphalt was removed by the contractor to work on the new building foundation; the driveway asphalt was left in place, which is good. Gravel base course was delivered to be placed under the concrete slab.

Instead of backing all of the way into the site, over wet dirt, the trucks could have stayed on the asphalt driveway to unload. Site equipment could have been used to move the gravel.

The contractor could also have dumped gravel next to the asphalt, then graded it back into the site to provide a construction access into the site. In this way, the delivery truck could have stayed on gravel rather than driving on dirt.

While this is not a lot of dirt on the road, it does add up and is a magnet for inspectors and regulators to visit the site.

April 7, 2020

Silt Fence Water Bars Fail

Photo: David Jenkins

Whenever I see something like this, it makes me think that the site owner/contractor either didn’t know what they were doing or bit off more project than they could chew, or both. These guys cleared, grubbed and graded something over 80 acres starting in late summer, failed to phase the work, failed to use soil cover practices, failed to listen to the experts and got nailed by the fall rains.

Erosion control is really about water control: reducing volume, preventing it from becoming turbid, and controlling where it goes. By the time the rains hit this project, there was too much water, it was too dirty, and there were too few options for controlling where it went.

In addition, they refused to set up a chitosan-enhanced sand filtration system to treat and discharge water; this left them no options and too much turbid water that had nowhere to go. As a result, they hammered a wetland, were fined heavily, and were shut down for months.

Silt fences are not meant to control water, convey water, filter water; they are designed to control eroded sediment. Ditches, berms (rock, gravel, triangular silt dikes, etc.) would have been better choices at this location. Not opening up so much area so late in the season would have been the best option. Their means and methods did not save them time or money.

April 6, 2020

Silt Fence and Trackout Fail

Photo: David Jenkins

I was just minding my own business last Friday, driving from Fred Meyer to the UPS store and passed this project. I told my wife I have to get a photo; she says okay since she knows me and my habit of stopping to take TESC photos.

I made a u -turn at the Wal Mart, drove back a block and stopped in the middle of the street to get this shot.

There is so much wrong here, where do I start? Clearly, dirt is tracked off of the project in the background, as you can see the sediment build up in the curb line. Someone told someone to put something in the swale to keep dirt out, then someone else installed this silt fence.

First off, silt fence needs to be trenched in and this just has a few rocks placed on the flap.

Second, they probably couldn’t trench this in anyway without tearing up the drainage swale.

Third, only two of the three curb cuts are backed by the silt fence.

Fourth, silt fence is a barrier, not a filter, and with the volume of water draining off the asphalt during a rain event, dirty water would just blow around and under the silt fence.

Conclusion, silt fence is never used in a water flow situation; it is only to contain eroded sediment from a sloped area. A better BMP here is a compost berm or something similar that would allow some water to pass but filter some sediment. Sand bags would work to keep everything out of the swale but then the dirty water would bypass to the next catch basin, which probably has a catch basin insert, which would collect sand and such but would not do anything for turbidity. So, what is the best BMP? Stop the !@#$ ing trackout in the first place!

April 2, 2020

Muddy Puddle Inside the Project

Photo: David Jenkins

Is a muddy puddle a problem if it is completely contained inside the project boundary? Unless vehicles are driving through this and tracking mud outside of the project, I don’t consider it a problem and would only caution the contractor to watch out for trackout.

February 20, 2020

Just a Little Trackout

Video: David Jenkins

Just a little trackout over time becomes a water quality non-compliance issue.

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