Sedimentation is the process of depositing eroded particles. When stormwater carries sediment from construction sites, it must be deposited somewhere. Unfortunately, sediment deposited in waterbodies can have negative effects on aquatic habitats and water quality. This can result in high turbidity, loss of depth, covering of fish spawning areas, and increased algal productivity.
Sediment erosion can contain hazardous chemicals that can be detrimental to aquatic life. The runoff can carry these pollutants into rivers and streams, causing harm to fish and other aquatic life.
Advantages of Implementing Effective Control Measures on Building Sites
To minimize up-slope erosion, sediment trapping and retention are crucial control measures on building sites. Here are the benefits of implementing these measures:
Enhanced water quality which leads to a healthier aquatic environment
Reduced cleanup expenses for the community
Improved site conditions, particularly during wet weather
Fewer delays during wet-weather construction
Reduced losses from material stockpiles
Fewer public complaints and a lower risk of penalties from local or state authorities.
Managing Sediment Control: Techniques and Methods
There are numerous methods for controlling sediment, including sediment basins, ripraps, sediment traps, silt fences, and filter bags. However, the most commonly used techniques are sediment basins, sediment traps, and silt fences.
It’s important to know that erosion control practices are aimed at preventing detachment and transportation of soil particles, while sediment control is aimed at trapping eroding soil on-site. Ideally, controlling erosion is critical to controlling sediment, which occurs after erosion. Additionally, erosion control is designed to reduce and prevent the erosion of soil from repetitive impacts such as rainfall, while sediment control is focused on displaced or shifted sediment.
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