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Erosion Control

During Construction

Proper erosion control measures should always be implemented before your project gets underway. In many cases, local building codes now require that erosion control measures be in place before gound can be broken on your project. These controls are simple and inexpensive. First, dig a small six inch deep trench around your site. Then stake a slit fence in the trench to capture any runoff during construction. The trenched silt fence should be placed on the "downhill side" of your project to capture all silt and soil runoff.

You should also minimize the size of the disturbed area of your build or renovation to the largest extent possible. Make sure you "stack and save" any excavated soil for reuse. Finally you should clearly delineate "no disturbance zones" on your property. This will minimize tree, shrub, plant, and grass/siol damage from construction equipment entering and leaving the project site.

Once your project is complete, all saved soil should be reused onsite. Any disturbed areas should be tilled to a minimum of six inches to allow for natural rainwater penetration on the soil. Your silt fence should remain in place until your reseeding produces grasses capabale of recapturing rainwater and not allowing excess runoff.

Permanent Erosion Control Measures

By utilizing a few simple concepts, your finished project can go a long way to insure that your property will produce minimal long term runoff that can cause environmental damage to local streams and waterways. First, design your landscape so that at least 70% of the property, excluding the area under roof, is permeable. By permeable we mean drought tolerant turf, gardens and flowerbeds, and permeable pavers. Any impermeable areas (such as blacktop or concrete driveways and walkways) should be designed to direct water to an appropriate collection area. These areas include vegetated swails, rain gardens, and rainwater cisterns.

To properly manage the runoff from your roof (the number one cause of excess runoff), install downspouts connected to underground corregated pipe diverted to a vegetated swail or properly sized collection device. The corregated pipe will allow absorbtion of some of the runoff underground. The remainder will be slowly dispersed by the vegetated swail, or captured for reuse in your collection device.

Roof Runoff Diversion

An example of underground pipe being connected to downspouts for diversion to a vegetated swail.

Roof Runoff Diversion

A typical rainwater cistern attached to downspouts for home use.

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