Regulatory agencies have placed stringent requirements on preventative erosion control measures and permitting. Due to the rate of pollution and costs associated with its mitigation, it’s Snyder & Associates’ job to understand how to limit these impacts by efficiently balancing all aspects of project design, permitting, and environmental mitigation.
Sediment loss and soil erosion from construction sites are recognized as some of the most significant water pollution sources across the country. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sedimentation causes approximately $16 billion in environmental damage each year. With bare soils commonly exposed at these sites, a single rain event can cause erosion, causing sediment transport in stormwater into nearby storm sewers and eventually into watersheds.
From Planning to Practice: Incorporating Erosion Control into Any Project
Snyder & Associates combats soil erosion by utilizing best management practices (BMP) on worksites, along stream banks, and at various other locations across the Midwest. Incorporating sediment and erosion controls in our designs also keeps soil off city streets, prevents constant dredging of lakes and rivers, reduces the growth of harmful algae, and creates a healthier overall environment.
Native Vegetation is a Natural Erosion Control Practice
Adding vegetation to bare soil areas is the most common and natural erosion control method practiced. Native vegetation species, such as wildflowers and grasses, are ideal for sediment control situations. These plants are adapted to the geographical area, need less care than many non-native plants, and attract local wildlife like birds and butterflies. When a senior living community in Wisconsin decided to expand its facilities, our professionals recognized the hilly landscape as a potential erosion threat. The Snyder design team worked to incorporate attractive and functional landscaping into the overall plan, reducing erosion during construction and the coming years.
Soil Binders are Effective for Temporary Stabilization
Another prevalent erosion and sediment control method is soil binders. This practice is typically applied to disturbed areas requiring short-term protection and in combination with other BMP’s. Soil binder options vary from project to project as they differ in longevity, suitable soil type, and cost. Therefore, it is important to work with a team such as Snyder & Associates, who have the expertise to help select the soil binder that meets your site’s needs. At Fourmile Creek, our team sprayed a binding substance along the riverbank, protecting the exposed area and allowing native vegetation time to grow.
Riprap Permanently Protects Soil From Erosion
Along riverbanks or shorelines, a permanent erosion prevention solution is necessary to combat strong flows and flooding. A layer of large stones or boulders called riprap is often placed at bank areas where erosion potentials are the highest. This layer armors, stabilizes, and protects shorelines against erosion and scour in areas of concentrated flow or wave energy. When a sharp meandering creek in West Des Moines required adjustments to accommodate a new bridge, our environmental experts worked to reduce the system’s overall erosion in conjunction with the realignment. After incorporating riprap and rock riffles, which slow stream currents, water flowing through the project site now appears clearer than water upstream and downstream, signaling that the area’s erosion control measures are working.
As a multi-disciplinary firm, Snyder & Associates’ team works daily with all types of clients, providing extensive civil engineering services. No matter what sector a project falls under, our experts are trained to incorporate erosion and sediment control practices, helping to reduce erosion and its environmental impacts.
Guiding Project Success through Regulations & Permitting
Before work begins on a project, it’s necessary to obtain the required permits. Any project that discharges water from its site into local water systems must possess a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. This policy is vital in keeping pollutants like lawn care fertilizers, uprooted soil, oils from roadways, and many other contaminants out of our water systems.
The experts at Snyder & Associates excel in their mission of helping communities meet NPDES compliance requirements throughout the design of projects. Specifically, our team is well versed in creating precise Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), a required step in the NPDES process.
A SWPPP lists proactive measures our experts intend to use to limit the spread of pollutants to rivers, streams, and lakes. The design, execution, and monitoring of a SWPPP entails a significant amount of expertise and resources to make the project a success. If construction site runoff is not addressed correctly, regulatory agencies can impose substantial fines and penalties. The cost of noncompliance in the process is significant, and Snyder & Associates utilizes our extensive experience to eliminate that risk.
Control Practices Create Significant Improvements After Project Completion
The timely use of effective erosion and sediment control practices combined with on-site construction administration helps our team consistently achieve project goals. We recognize the stabilization of these susceptible soils has lasting impacts long after construction is completed.
Whether you’re looking for assistance with complete design and planning or just implementing control measures in your project, it’s always best to work with an expert like Snyder & Associates. We understand the erosion and sediment control options, processes, and tools necessary to make your project compliant.