The Elements of Erosion Control Design and Planning
Effective Erosion and Sediment Control Starts With a Proactive, Well-Documented Plan
An erosion control plan is a written guide that defines the erosion control strategy for a job site weeks, months, and even years after ground is broken on the project. A written erosion control plan created from thorough inspections by a professional erosion control company shows that a construction site is serious about protecting the surrounding area.
What Is an Erosion Control Plan?
Erosion and sediment control plans focus on efforts to minimize the effects of construction on the flow of runoff and stormwater. This includes minimizing disturbed areas while outlining plans for seeding, mulching, and matting areas that have been cleared of vegetation or have changes to the natural topography.
The erosion prevention and sediment control plan is a document that guides landscapers and other contractors through the timetable of erosion mitigation efforts on the property. It provides a visual reference of the current and future condition of the site but more importantly, each element shows how the areas will change over time.
Location map – This is a USGS map that shows how close the job site is to surface water, roads, existing structures, property lines.
Existing conditions site plan – This shows the existing grading and topography of the site as well as a listing and grading of the soil found on the site. This might include a historical description of previous and existing erosion control efforts and how successful they have been.
Grading plan and construction timetable – This addresses how the land will be contoured and how that contouring will be sequenced during each phase of construction. An important element of this is a report that shows how erosion control measures during each phase of the project will relate to other areas. It lists proposed structures, roads, and utility access. Soil stabilization and sediment control site plan and timetable – Using the grading plan as a base, this site plan details all erosion control measures and the sequence of when they will be implemented.
All of these reports are accompanied by a narrative that describes the plans and explains why certain erosion control methods were being used. Narratives also detail any risks involved with the site and the erosion control methods that are being used to mitigate them. This is a plain-language narrative that can easily be conveyed to outside stakeholders that are not readily versed in erosion control techniques.
Key Elements of an Erosion Control Plan
Erosion control professionals have an extensive playbook of methods they use to control stormwater and protect open property. The erosion control plan groups all of these methods together, and it details how they will be used during each phase of construction.
Perimeter controls prevent soil flow from slopes, and their main purpose is to filter sediment and other contaminants out of the water while allowing the water to pass through. Choosing what type of perimeter control to use is dependent on soil type, soil quality, slope, and the size of the construction site. Perimeter control can also be seasonal in nature, so the job site is protected during colder months and prepared for spring runoff. Popular methods of perimeter control include super silt fences, sediment traps or berms, perimeter ditches, and filter socks.
Stabilized Slopes and Open Areas
Anytime a part of the job site is disturbed and natural vegetation is removed or altered, the plan must include how erosion will be controlled once the work is done. Disturbed portions of the site must be temporarily or permanently improved to prevent erosion after construction has ceased. Site stabilization is also important if construction ceases seasonally. Popular ways to control slopes and open areas include erosion control matting, straw net blankets, grass seed installation, and hydroseeding.
Stabilized Construction Entrance
One important area of the job site is where trucks and other traffic enter and exit. The erosion control plan details how the entrance is established and stabilized to prevent sediment tracking due to vehicle traffic.
Varsity Inc. Was Built on Professional Erosion Control Solutions
Varsity has been in the erosion control business for over 40 years. We have the experience to develop an erosion control plan that we know will work. Proactive planning is how contractors protect themselves so they are not caught off guard by future problems that might delay the project deadline. When you need clear construction site erosion and sediment controls and a comprehensive erosion control plan, call Varsity Inc.
Varsity Inc. has been providing a full range of landscape related services to the Northeast commercial and industrial markets since 1974.