Protecting Waterways During Construction Season
Spring is on our doorstep and the construction season is right around the corner. With the commencement of larger projects, stormwater management is in the forefront of every project manager and stormwater inspector mind's for these project. Every Capital Improvements Program (CIP) half-cent sales tax project that will undergo excavation will require erosion control. This is a measure taken to ensure the proper amount of distribution and reduction of sedimentary soils into the natural waterways and manmade systems.
The most popular type of erosion control is the siltation fence. The silt fence is an ideal way to prevent erosion. The fencing is made with a synthetic mesh that allows water to filter through but prevents soil or other materials from passing through.
Another option is the siltation wattle which looks like a fabric sausage filled with rock or straw. Silt wattles, as they are referred to, are designed for use to slow the flow in channels to treat muddy water by capturing sediment and encouraging natural silt deposition. Silt wattles act as check dams within a water course, reducing water flow and increasing filtration which leads to cleaner water. For reduced turbidity downstream and greater sediment control capacity, Floc Mats and SiltMats can be used in combination with the wattles. Silt Wattles also replace silt fence in windy environments or to better protect sensitive receptors and slopes.
This water management solution decreases the likelihood of soil erosion, interrupting sheet flow and surface runoff to benefit surface waters. The wattles capture silt in natural filter media produced from recycled wood waste, contained by tubular netting. They have low permeability and are structured in 20cm, 30cm or 40cm diameter rolls. For particularly sensitive sites, 100% biodegradable version may be more appropriate.
Deployment of silt wattles is flexible. They can be laid directly onto the channel bed or slope in low flow sites or staked in higher energy environments. Depending on site type and dimensions, they are easy to join together or may be pyramidally stacked. While there are many other methods of erosion control, these are the more popular types for projects.