Why is soil roughening important on construction sites?

Preventing erosion, capturing sediment, and establishing vegetation on construction projects are all practices that should be implemented during soil disturbing activities. Soil roughening is a best management practice (BMP) to prepare surface soils for the implementation of additional BMPs, prevent erosion and sedimentation, and establish vegetation.

The purpose of soil roughening is to:

  1. Reduce the potential for erosion;
  2. Trap sediment on slopes;
  3. Reduce runoff velocities;
  4. Increase infiltration; and
  5. Aid in the establishment of vegetation.
Soil roughening in Kaneohe Watershed

Roughening of the soil surface may include using various methods of grading such as grooving, tracking, stair stepping, tilling, disking, and harrowing. Machinery can be used to perform grading activities and is often readily available on construction projects. Tracking or grooving on slopes may prevent rill and gully erosion as well as create voids that will catch seed, fertilizer, and rainfall. Consider “tracking” machinery up and down a slope to prevent erosion or “grooving” along the slope (on the contour) to aid in the establishment of vegetation.

Inspection and maintenance of soil roughening practices includes inspecting areas for rill and gully erosion, sedimentation, and vegetation establishment. Inspections should be conducted regularly and after rain events.

Remember to roughen your construction site to prevent pollution!