Tag Archives: Erosion and Sediment Control

How Erosion And Sediment Control Plan Affects The Building

This entry is part of 1 in the series Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)


Sediment control helps builders prevent soil, sand, and cement from reaching waterways. Even small amounts of erosion or pollution from the site can bring significant environmental damage or kill aquatic life. The pollution can block stormwater pipes. Ensure that all control plans are done in accordance with the mandatory requirements of the Planning and Permit department.

How an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan Affects Buildings

The erosion plan’s aim is to divert uncontaminated water far from the work area. The efforts help minimize erosion by reducing site disturbance or destabilization of surfaces. The control plans also prevent the collection of material stockpiles or discharging of sediments.

Successful control measures on the building site can retain and trap sediment displaced by slope erosion. This can result in improved site conditions and reduction of cleanup costs to the community. The local community experience healthier aquatic life and cleaner waterways.

Erosion and sediments can delay constructions because of wet conditions. This can result in losses arising from material stockpiles. With the erosion control plans, you get fewer dust and mud problems. Therefore, there are fewer chances of fines because of the reduction in the number of the public complains.

Make certain that all attempts to comply with the sediment control plans are in line with the requirements of sediment control or local erosion guidelines. You should obtain appropriate experts with the right qualification and certification to handle your erosion and sediment control plans.

Factors Influencing Sediment Control

Slope – the longer and steeper the slope, the greater it is to suffer sedimentation and erosion.

Soil type – clay soil has a higher chance of bringing environmental harm. Sandy soils can cause traffic hazards and drainage problems. Exposed subsoil can bring more problems than topsoil.

Nature, extent, and duration of the disturbance – the greater the disturbance, the higher the risk of sedimentation or erosion.

Season ad climate – high rainfall intensity and duration together with high winds can affect sedimentation and erosion. Rainfall events intensify under climate change. The extent and severity of the sedimentation and erosion increases. This increases the need to control the impacts which are of great importance.

Locations and size of the site – it is harder to implement sediment control on the smaller sites. It is more problematic if the site slopes towards the road. You can contact your local council for consultation. Large rural sites that have vegetation do not always need specific controls.

How to Minimize Site Disturbance

Prevention or control is always better than cure.  Put in place a careful design and an efficient construction sequence that will minimize disturbance to your site. This will reduce environmental impact and save you money.  The design should avoid excessive cuts and unnecessary clearing of vegetation. Clear only areas where the building work will take place. Preserve grass and vegetation as much as possible to help filter erosion and sediments from stormwater before it reaches your drainage system.

Postpone removal of vegetation or starting earthworks until you are ready to start the building activities. Avoid construction activities that disturb the soil during rainy seasons or lengthy and heavy rainfall periods.

How to Implement Sediment Control Plans

Start installing erosion and sediment control plans before you start any earth moving or excavation. Regularly maintain the control plans until the building construction is complete and the site stabilizes.  It is important to ensure you do not unlawfully divert stormwater or release it into the neighboring properties as it can cause erosion or discharge points, which can result in lawsuits.

Avoid contaminating the stormwater with sediments by diverting the water away from the construction area. Use flow diversion devices to minimize the volume of stormwater reaching that disturbed area. Restrict overland flow by installing storm water drainage system early during the construction process.

For more information, contact us.


A Guide to Calculate Your Project’s Land Disruption for the ESCP

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Erosion & Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)


As part of our series of blogs regarding the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, we are bringing you information about how to proceed with the project. Today, we want to focus on one aspect of the plan, land disruption. If you recall from our previous blogs, one of the first steps in creating the [amazon_textlink asin=’0756944414′ text=’Erosion’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7dd2bd12-e67e-11e7-b72a-edccc49b48a8′] and Sediment Control Plan is determining whether you need to file under Category 1A or 1B. Let’s review briefly what the requirements are for each category.

Category 1A is for residential construction jobs that disrupt less than 1,000 square feet with a slope of 15 % or less.

Category 1B is for residential construction jobs that exceed 1,000 square foot but are under one acre or ones that stay within the 1,000 square foot limit but the slope exceeds 15 %. The final scenario for a category 1B classification is if you are working on a commercial construction project that is less than one acre.

Determining what category your project falls within means you need to find out the amount of disturbed land as well as the slope. We’re going to show you how to calculate the amount of disturbed land you’re working with so that you’ll know what category you’re working with. Once these numbers are calculated, you can begin the process of completing your plan.

Calculating Land Disruption

How much land do you plan on disrupting in your construction efforts? You may think that measuring around the perimeter of your entire work area will be sufficient but that probably will not be quite accurate enough. You need to break down each area individually and then add them together. This includes the area for your construction access as well as your materials’ storage. Chances are these three things won’t fall within a perfect rectangle or square shape. For example, you may be building a house and several yards away constructing a separate shed. The house will likely be longer than the shed so you don’t want to simply measure the perimeter of both because that would give a higher number than you actually have. To get the most accurate measurement, measure accordingly:

  • Measure the square footage of each separate area of land that will be a part of your project. To find the square footage, measure the length and the width. Next, multiply the two. For example, if the length is 60 feet and the width is 30 feet, you multiply 60 x 30 for a total of 1,800 square feet.
  • When measuring your work area, be sure to include the access area for the construction as well the storage area for your material[amazon_link asins=’0471851450′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f60c52e6-e67e-11e7-9b62-6fcd0550a544′]s. For example, if your construction access area is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, then you have a total of 200 square feet for that area. Next, measure the storage area in the same manner.
  • Once you’ve determined the area of all three sections, add them all together. Using our example above, if the storage area was also 200 square feet, then the entire disturbed area would be 2,200 square feet. That means your project would fall within the category 1B guidelines (assuming the slope was 15 % or less).

After you complete measuring your work area, your next step is to determine the slope of your land. Remember the slope determines the category of your project. We will have more on how to measure the slope in one of the future blogs, so check back.

At Owner Built Design, we are keeping on top of the new rules handed down by the Department of Permitting and planning. As you develop your Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, check our blog regularly. We will be posting articles to guide you through the process. For more information, please contact us today and we’ll be glad to give you a hand.