Sheetflow Construction Erosion and Sediment Control

April 9, 2020

Good Use of Silt Fence

Photo: David Jenkins

This silt fence is being installed to contain a five acre crushed concrete pile. It is trenched in, staked every six feet, has wire backing and uses zip ties to secure it to the stakes.

Crushed concrete from 16 Center Reconstruction Photo: David Jenkins
Crushed concrete from 16 Center reconstruction with silt fence. Photo: David Jenkins

April 8, 2020

Undercover Construction Inspector Vehicle

Photo: David Jenkins

This was my daily driver for several years, a 1988 Volvo 240 with over 300,000 miles on it. I sold it to an musician a few years ago. It was painted by Angelina Villalobos in South Park, Washington.

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

Just minding my own business last Friday, driving from Fred Meyer to the UPS store and passed this project. 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. 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 being 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. Someone 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!

October 26, 2019

Rain in the Forecast

Yelm, Washington. Photo: David Jenkins

April 30, 2019

Clouds over the Palouse

Photo: David Jenkins

June 2, 2013

Prominent Pierce County Developer Sentenced To Prison For Criminal Violations Of Clean Water Act

Prominent Pierce County Developer Sentenced To Prison For Criminal Violations Of Clean Water Act


One of First Prosecutions in the Nation for Stormwater Violations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 10, 2012

A prominent Sumner, Washington developer was sentenced to prison today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma for a felony violation of the Clean Water Act. BRYAN STOWE, 65, was sentenced to six months in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $300,000 fine for knowingly violating a national pollution discharge elimination permit. In addition, STOWE will make a $100,000 payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for environmental projects targeting resources impacted by the illegal discharges. STOWE, as president and co-owner of Stowe Construction, Inc., admitted knowingly violating the Construction General Storm Water Permit for the Rainier Park of Industry project, located on West Valley Highway in Sumner. Permit violations contributed to two major landslides at the site in 2010 and 2011. Both slides forced closure of the West Valley Highway. This case is one of the first storm water pollution criminal cases brought in the United States. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton referenced the Clean Water Act saying, “These regulations serve a broad and useful purpose. You violated them persistently. You were wrong.” MORE…

April 27, 2013

Airport Embankment Project Tests Erosion Control Options

While building an embankment for a new runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington, the Port of Seattle is also developing some new erosion control measures to help protect the water quality of nearby creeks and potentially boost compliance with state water-quality standards beyond what is required.

“We want to go the extra mile in keeping sediment on-site and protecting water quality during construction,” maintains David Jenkins, erosion control and stormwater engineer for the port. “We are shooting for a system that will be even better than the prescribed state guidelines and that will fit right in with the way we are building the embankment.”

Read the full article in the Erosion Control Magazine

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