Implementing Stormwater Control Practices at Construction Sites

Rich Ahlgren
October 25, 2011 — 1,255 views  

The leading cause of soil erosion and sediment runoff comes from constructions sites, both residential and commercial. Large amounts of runoff and erosion can cause major problems when it comes to pollutants entering our water systems. Often times this soil contains pesticides, fertilizers, petroleum products, construction chemicals, contaminated soils, paints, debris, and sanitary waste - all things that are detrimental once they enter our waterways. If you have or plan to begin construction that is greater than 1 acre in size, there are a few mandated policies that you follow to keep your site in compliance with regulations:

1. Before you begin, it is crucial that you devise and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) or Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. This plan should include details regarding soil stabilization measures, perimeter controls, how you will store your materials (both on and off site) and other stormwater control practices that you will implement and maintain while working on the construction project.

2. In addition to your SWPPP, it is important to implement a Post-Construction plan in regards to how your construction site will be managed and maintained to reduce and treat stormwater runoff.

3. When coming and going off of your construction site, it is important to pay careful attention to sediment that your vehicles may track onto publicly or privately owned paved surfaces. If this happens, it is important that it is swept (not washed or flushed) up immediately. To minimize this tracking of debris, a temporary stabilized construction site entrance can be built.

4. Depending on the location of your construction site, dust may be a problem. If heavy winds are carrying dust and debris from your construction site, a water truck can be brought in to lightly spray water on the site to control the dust. Be sure not to spray too much water, which may cause runoff.

5. As a construction manager, you are responsible for the disposal of waste created at your construction site. To prevent exposure of waste to stormwater, be sure to keep all trash in a closed container on or off site. If you notice that waste generated at your construction site is being blown off-site into public property or waterways, it is your responsibility to clean it up immediately and properly dispose of it.

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Rich Ahlgren

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