Tag Archives: foundation erosion

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.


Tips to Help You Develop Your Erosion and Sediment Control Plan

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Erosion & Sediment Control Plan (ESCP)

Recently the Department of Permitting and Planning developed new regulations requiring Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for people doing construction on their property. This includes people who want to:

  • Build a home
  • Create a home addition
  • Develop a [amazon_textlink asin=’0764318365′ text=’retaining wall’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’e1b689ee-a227-11e7-98fb-dfa05a704724′]
  • Grade their land
  • Install a driveway or sidewalk
  • Install an in ground pool

This is just a partial list of the jobs that must have an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan. If you plan to do any type of work that “disrupts” the land in any way, you must submit the appropriate paperwork. You may be aware of the regulations but be wondering how to go about tackling this task. We’ve developed tips to help you navigate the paperwork.

Determine what type of project you have

The Department of Permitting and Planning separates projects into either category 1A or category 1B. Each category has slightly different paperwork. Here are the main differences between 1A and 1B.

Category 1A:

  • Non-commercial construction job that disturbs less than 1,000 square feet of land.
  • The slope of construction cannot be more than 15 %.

Category 1B:

  • Residential construction more than 1,000 square feet but not more than an acre.
  • Residential construction that is less than 1,000 square feet but has a slope of more than 15%.
  • Construction is for a commercial building under one acre.

To determine what category your construction falls within, you will need to measure the land you will disrupt and determine the slope (more information about how to do that in upcoming posts).

Develop a schedule

As part of the Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, you will need to submit a schedule detailing how long each step will take. In other words, you need to break the entire project down into smaller steps and estimate the amount of time it will take you to complete that task. A simple table with a column for the task and another for the time to complete will suffice.

Secure your checklist template

Download a checklist template for category 1A here or for category 1B here. It gives suggestions for minimizing the negative effects of disrupting the land. The checklist contains several categories with a list of potential solutions you can use for each one. For example, one category is titled, “Dust Control.” One of the suggested options to reduce the dust include: “Mulching to a one inch or more depth.” Once you have the checklist, use it as a guide to what precautionary measures to take.

Diagram the site

You also need to submit a diagram or map of the construction site. Using grid paper, sketch the construction site. Make sure your map shows the boundary surrounding the property as well as any other buildings on location. Storm drains must be included too. Use a wavy line with an arrow at the end in order to show which way the water flows. Finally, include the best management practices you will use such as a silt fence, vegetation, gravel, and so on. Display the best management practices (BMPs) with appropriate symbols.

Prepare to submit your control plan

Once you have all your documents ready, you may send them in with a $250 payment. This amount will cover one plan review. If you need multiple permits all related to the same job, you may submit it all as one so you don’t have to pay additional fees.

This mandatory paperwork may seem overwhelming at first, but we are here to help guide you through the process. Keep an eye open for our future posts. We will be posting about how to measure the slope of your property and more. Contact Owner Built Design, LLC for more information today!


Foundation Erosion and How to Deal with It

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Trouble in Paradise

Foundation erosion is a common problem in Hawaii.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which are rising sea levels and frequent flash floods. Whether your [amazon_textlink asin=’B006C96KHU’ text=’property’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’770811c8-a220-11e7-afb5-8be01c875a58′] is beachfront or inland, and no matter which [amazon_textlink asin=’156647499X’ text=’island’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’ownbuilddesig-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’87127929-a21f-11e7-8dad-73525ea07758′] you live on, foundation erosion is one of the most devastating things that can happen to your home — and many homeowners don’t even know it.

Fortunately, there are a number of preventative actions that you can take to protect your home. The following are some proven methods to prevent foundation erosion; take note of them today to avoid tragedy tomorrow.

Maintain Your Drainage System

Keep an eye on your gutters and downspouts and remove any blockages that might prevent proper water drainage. Rainwater should always drain away from your house so that the soil under your foundation remains firmly in place. If you suspect that your gutters are undersized for the home, have an expert look at them. You may need to replace them.

Fix Cracks Immediately

Repair any cracks in your home’s foundation immediately. Cracks will allow water to seep into the inside of your home’s foundation, eroding it more quickly; additionally, internal deterioration will be harder to detect until it’s too late.

Plant Wisely

Certain types of grasses and bushes can more effectively hold soil in place. You may also need to use a special type of compost if your soil is sandy. Even so, using plants to protect your foundation from erosion is often cost-effective and cost-efficient.  It can also be aesthetically pleasing.

What If I’ve Already Noticed Erosion?

Illustration of micropile repair due to foundation erosion.Many foundation erosion problems can be repaired using micropiles. Micropiles are created by drilling a hole into the soil, inserting a strong bar or pipe, and filling the hole with grout. These holes can be anywhere from two to eight inches wide depending on the size of the property and the damage incurred. A good foundation repair contractor will use micropile technology in conjunction with other foundation repair techniques (such as slab leveling, slope stabilization and tieback anchors).

However, if your home has serious foundation erosion problems, you may need to consider “amputating” a portion of your house and replacing the foundation to protect the rest from further damage. Of course, this is a last resort that should only be done in consultation with an expert, as it’s expensive and time-consuming to remove and rebuild a portion of your home.

Foundation erosion can cause significant damage. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to do everything possible to prevent erosion on your property. Planting the right vegetation, maintaining your gutters and drainage system, and regularly inspecting your foundation for cracks can prevent headaches and hardship.

At the same time, discovering signs of potential foundation erosion doesn’t mean you’ve lost your house. Seal the cracks and establish sturdy erosion control barriers (such as concrete pavers or liners). Then talk to an expert to see what type of foundation repair is in order to prevent more home damage.