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CSGP: Erosion & Sediment Control BMPs

There are a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs) available to control erosion and prevent sedimentation on a construction project.

BMPs are not just things that you buy from a catalog or from a warehouse. Often the most effective BMPs are behavioral, managerial, or operations-based.

The BMPs utilized need to be identified and maintained as outlined in the SWPPP, and all maintenance logs and records should be kept with the SWPPP on-site or readily available.

*The contents of this page are to provide a general overview only. Each jurisdiction may have specific requirements for BMP installation. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure all BMPs utilized on their project meet the requirements of their state and local jurisdictions.

Our goal is to promote environmentally friendly practices that protect our natural resources and maintain the integrity of the communities we build in. Whether you are a construction professional, contractor, or developer, this guidebook is here to support you in implementing effective BMPs that adhere to local regulations and best practices.

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Operational BMPs are about how you manage the site. The timing of things, project phasing, retaining vegetation, monitoring for and responding to upcoming weather events, constant communication, the utilization of equipment, and vendor support all fit within the category of operational BMPs. These BMPs often are the least expensive to implement but take the most energy and effort to maintain at a high level.

These videos provide more insight into BMPs utilized in this category.

Select Operational BMP Examples

Project Timing
Planning when aspects of your project take place can greatly reduce the risk of stormwater pollution. That might mean starting the project during the dry season or making sure that aspects of the project take place in a logical order so you aren’t having to disturb already stabilized areas.
Project Phasing
Efficiently phasing your project can reduce stormwater pollution risk, as a phased project will have a much more manageable area of disturbance than a project with a large area of un-utilized clearing that now has to be monitored and temporarily stabilized for months while waiting on construction to take place.
Retaining Vegetation
Retaining native vegetation can be an easy way to reduce the risk of erosion. Areas with their vegetation retained are already stabilized so pose little risk of erosion. Additionally, these areas can act as filters that can help remove sediment from water flowing through them.
Monitoring Weather
Monitoring when it is going to rain, and acting accordingly is a simple but highly effective way to prevent stormwater issues on your site. Checking and maintaining your BMPs before it begins raining can save hours of headaches down the road.
Proper communication between site owners, the CESCL, subcontractors, and crew is critical for staying in compliance with permit regulations. Everyone on site should have at least a basic understanding of the site’s stormwater management strategy.



Perimeter Controls

Perimeter controls separate your project from the outside environment. They prevent soil from leaving the site and also minimize erosion from off-site rain or run-on. These BMPs can take many forms such as silt fences, catch-basin inserts, construction entrances, the protection of LID BMPs, as well as a variety of wattles and berms.  

These videos provide more insight into BMPs utilized in this category.

Select Perimeter Control BMP Examples

Silt Fence
A silt fence is an impermeable barrier that, when properly installed can prevent sediment-containing runoff from exiting your site. It is important that the bottom section of the silt fence is trenched in, and that it is reinforced in areas susceptible to high winds.
Construction Entrance
It is important to limit the number of construction entrances to one, or as few as feasible for your site. Each entrance should be equipped with either a rock construction entrance or a wheel wash station to prevent sediment from being tracked out on equipment and vehicle tires.
LID Protection
You should also protect any areas of existing or future Low Impact Development BMPs. Many of these BMPs rely on the infiltration of stormwater, and the use of equipment in these areas can reduce infiltration rates, making them ineffective as a BMP.
Wattles can act as a low-profile perimeter control that remains effective in high wind conditions. Since wattles are often made of straw or other natural material, they can sometimes be left in place as a perimeter control after construction has been completed. It is important to properly trench in a wattle as well as choose the proper netting material based on how long it needs to work before degrading.

Covering Controls

Covering Control BMPs are meant to cover exposed soil or stockpiles and prevent the transport of these materials in stormwater. These BMPs can be hand dispersed on a site, such as the dispersion of straw or mulch, and they can be blown or sprayed on a site, such as the use of hydromulching, sprayed tackifier, or blown-in compost. These BMPs can also come in more of a rolled form, such as plastic sheeting or various natural fiber mats. These BMPs can be temporary- such as covering a stockpile with plastic sheeting, or lead to permanent stabilization- such as the addition of seed to your hydromulch. 

These videos provide more insight into BMPs utilized in this category.

Select Convering Control BMP Examples

Outlet Protection
The use of riprap, sod, or other materials around the outlet of a conveyance system is critical in reducing the velocity of the water exiting these systems, and in turn, reducing erosion potential.
Channel Lining
Channels with exposed soils require a channel lining BMP to prevent erosion within the channel as the vegetation gets re-established. This can take the form of Sod, rock, or a number of biodegradable rolled coverings.
Check Dams
Check dams are temporary or permanent structures used to slow the velocity of water within a conveyance. Permanent check dams are often created using rock, while temporary check dams can utilize biodegradable materials such as straw waddles, or reusable materials such as a spring berm, or sandbags.
Temporary Storage
Temporary storage BMPs slow water down completely giving it enough time to settle particles out before it is released downstream. These can take the form of sediment traps, storage tanks, small ponds, or a dewatering pit made from a silt fence.

Conveyance Controls

Moving water under, through, or around your project may be necessary. These BMPs help you move clean water through the site without picking up additional pollutants. 

In certain instances, you may have very challenging standards to achieve and will need to consider treatment as part of your BMP management system.

Final Stabilization

Depending on your final surface for the project you will need to satisfy the stabilization criteria to be able to file your NOT and terminate your permit coverage. If you are incorporating a hard surface like asphalt or concrete into your final site conditions, it may be relatively easy to achieve these criteria; however, utilizing vegetation to complete the stabilization of the project may require much more anticipation and planning in order to achieve the performance outcome of stabilization for the site.

This video provides more insight into BMPs utilized in this category.