Before breaking ground, builders and developers must protect their projects and the surrounding environment by taking precautionary measures to prevent erosion from occurring. Practicing sediment control safeguards the quality of local water sources while protecting wildlife, the environment, and the value of their project. Failing to take such measures can both harm the environment and add substantial costs to a building project.
Before a project begins, developers must present a sediment control plan, which details the measures they plan to take to prevent erosion and adheres to all local, state, and federal laws regarding development projects. Once the plan is approved by the state, they obtain a permit that allows them to begin the project.
Work can be stopped for non-compliance with an approved plan and developers can be responsible to pay for any damage repairs to neighboring properties. In addition, if work is stopped, there may be additional costs and fines for missed deadlines and repairing or maintaining erosion controls that were not properly implemented from the start.
Erosion is the primary reason that sediment enters local waterways and major sources of erosion include large, bare areas of soil and high volumes of urban runoff (which quickens erosion). Furthermore, changes in surface water flow (or patterns) can adversely affect slopes and inclines and accelerate erosion.
By preventing erosion, developers can adhere to regulations and ensure sediment, debris, and chemicals do not infiltrate local water sources. Erosion control entails protecting bare soil surfaces. This can be done by preserving existing vegetation, planting new, native vegetation over bare soil, and/or placing mulch over soil. For areas that will eventually be paved or covered with cement, place temporary stone to keep the soil from eroding.
Developers should also practice effective sediment control, since any construction project is likely to cause some land disturbance (preventing erosion helps minimize the amount of land disturbance caused). By using sediment control devices and techniques, debris and sediment are separated from urban runoff. For instance, a sediment control bag made from permeable fabric can be placed over storm drains; this allows the water to flow through while catching sediment.