Sheetflow Erosion & Sediment Control Heavy Civil Construction

October 21, 2019

“Means and Methods” vs. Best Management Practices

Demolition of landside crane rail on a shipping container terminal.

In my experience, managing contractor “means and methods” is more important than using the “right” best management practices. When turbidity is the standard for measuring water quality compliance, as in Washington state, site cleanliness is the key to prevention and compliance.

This contract requires that catch basin inserts be installed in all catch basins within the project boundaries. However, inserts are not at all effective in reducing turbidity in runoff. While removing the crane rail on this container terminal project, the contractor could clean up as the work progresses, place all material removed from the trench onto plastic for later removal, load into a Bobcat bucket, and pick up small debris with a shop vac. I can require these things in the contract that the contractor bids. It may cost extra; the extra cost may be worth it if it reduces my risk. If I tell the contractor after the contract is awarded, I will pay more.

I can also make suggestions during the work, pointing out that keeping things really clean will keep them in compliance with their NPDES permit. If framed in a way that shows benefit to the contractor, meaning reducing risk and cost, they will probably follow the suggestion.

July 26, 2019

Down the Drain it Goes

Photo: David Jenkins

Then the sediment washing off of the uncovered stockpile drains into a catch basin which drains into a small salmon stream.

July 23, 2019

Lobster Protection in Portland, Maine

In Washington, it’s salmon protection.

March 8, 2019

Curb Inlet Protection

According to the Minnesota Stormwater Manual:

“Inlet protection devices intercept and/or filter sediment before it can be transported from a site into the storm drain system and discharged into a lake, river, stream, wetland, or other waterbody.

These devices also keep sediment from filling or clogging storm drain pipes, ditches, and downgradient sediment traps or ponds.

Inlet protection may also include placement of a barrier to create a bypass of an inlet transferring flow downstream to a sediment trap, basin, or other inlet discharging to a non-critical area.”

Nothing wrong with sediment control BMPs, as they are necessary tools in an effective erosion and sediment control system.  However, these do not “filter” sediment. 

When properly installed, these allow for ponding of water which allows larger sediment to settle out, keeping it out of the storm system.  This is a good thing, but doesn’t necessarily prevent water quality non-compliance.   

I do like this statement in the manual : “Caution: To the extent feasible, erosion prevention practices such as stabilization are preferred to sediment control practices.”

In my world, where we have to meet a turbidity effluent limit of 25 NTUs, stabilization and stormwater management are the primary methods used to meet strict turbidity limits.  

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:

December 22, 2013

Utah State University Extension Online Landscape Course

Utah State University Online Landscape Course

EXT LM03 – Soils and Landscapes, Spring 1993

  • EXT LM04 – Plants and Landscapes, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM05 – Annuals and Perennials, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM06 – Transplanting, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM07 – Turf Management, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM08 – Pruning, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM09 – Water in Landscapes, Spring 1993
  • EXT LM10 – Irrigation, Fall 1993
  • EXT LM11 – Fertilization, Fall 1993
  • EXT LM12 – Calculating Rates, Fall 1993
  • EXT LM13 – Weed Control, Fall 1993
  • EXT LM14 – Landscape Problems, Fall 1993
  • EXT LM15 – Cost Estimation, Fall 1993

</li

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

Powered by WordPress