Erosion and sediment control are two important components of all construction projects, but the specifics will depend on the location of the site. Soil erosion can deplete the land of essential nutrients and pollute the local waterways. The increased sediment runoff can harm local wildlife and transport toxins and chemicals from the construction site into streams, rivers, lakes, and even the sea. It can block stormwater systems and cause flooding and damage to local habitats.
As you can imagine, the environmental damage that can be caused by uncontrolled erosion on construction sites can be devastating and costly. The cost to repair the damage and the penalties from councils to clean up this damage can be insurmountable, particularly when it involves loss of habitats and wildlife. Construction companies can be fined heavily if they fail to implement appropriate erosion and sediment controls on their site.
To avoid harsh council penalties and to minimize the construction impact on the environment its best to consult a CPESC (Certified Professional Erosion & Sediment Control) Expert to identify any site issues. Aussie Environmental can help formulate a plan to reduce the impact of your construction site on the local surroundings and wildlife, and outline the products that can be easily employed to minimize any environmental damage. These products include erosion control blankets and mesh, as well as silt curtains, silt fences, sandbags, and geofabric.
Erosion Control Blankets
Biodegradable Erosion Control Blankets help protect against soil erosion and assist in the establishment of vegetation to stabilize slopes, or low-flow channel applications and drainage areas. Blankets such as Jute Mesh, Jute Matting, Coir Blankets, Coir Mesh, and or Hessian Cloth are secured on top of the soil and batters, providing protection against erosion from wind and heavy rainfall.
As these blankets are biodegradable, they are installed to provide a temporary sediment control measure whilst the area is either revegetated or further construction is continued. Each blanket is made from natural fiber, either Jute, Coir, or Hessian, each with different lifespans. Hessian & Jute blankets are best for short term cover as they last around 6-12 months before breaking down whereas Coir has a longer lifespan, biodegrading after 2 – 3 years. While all blankets help protect soil run-off, there are other elements to consider when choosing which blanket you require. For example, Jute Matting is best for weed suppression, whilst Coir Mesh has the highest tensile strength (best for high water-flow areas). Therefore, it’s important to consider the application & lifespan required when determining which blanket is best for your project.
Sediment Control Fences
Silt Fences (also known as Sediment Control Fences or Silt Barriers) are suitable for preventing sediment run-off into waterways, marshland, or even roads and paths. They’re usually installed along the bottom of slopes, and act by filtering the sediment out of the runoff. These fences can also stop soil from being washed away in heavy rainfall.
Silt fence material is a permeable geotextile fabric that helps capture sediment and slow down the water flow. Aussie Environmental provides two geotextile options, a Woven Polypropylene Geotextile & a natural biodegradable Jute Geotextile.
Silt Curtains act as floating barriers that prevent silt from spreading through the water, whilst allowing the water to pass through. Suited for use in dredging, excavation, piling operations, rock walling, and other marine construction activities.
Designed to be filled with gravel, silt socks filter the runoff before it enters the stormwater system. The debris and rubbish are caught behind the socks, removed by hand, and left in place for the next rain event. They are a good alternative when silt fences cannot be used.
Geofabric for controlling erosion and runoff
Geofabric is a permeable synthetic fabric that is used to increase stability, prevent erosion, or improve drainage in civil construction and regeneration projects.
Geofabric is often used to cover large stockpiles or exposed batters on construction sites to prevent dust and minimize sediment runoff. As Geofabric is synthetic it will not biodegrade, so often needs to be removed once the project is completed unless it is to be buried.
Erosion & Sediment Control Plan
If you need to control the erosion and sediment runoff on your construction site, the above products will help meet council requirements and minimize the impact construction will have on the environment. Before construction begins, it is best to consult an expert to provide guidance on the best erosion control solutions for your site, whether it be regarding installation, environmental compliance, and or re-vegetation.
Want to learn more about sediment control? Our qualified team at Aussie Environmental is accredited with CPESC accreditation with over 10+ years in product and installation experience allowing us to provide regulated Best Practice advice.