Erosion and sediment control (E&SC) is a term that most of us in the construction industry are familiar with in regards to storm water runoff issues at a project’s site. But have you ever really thought about what it actually means? If you break it down and separate the words “erosion control” and “sediment control,” and consider the definitions of erosion and sediment, you will likely realize that the best management practices (BMPs) to actually “control” erosion and sediment are significantly different in their function and purpose. Erosion control measures aim to prevent wind and water erosion at a construction site while sediment controls are a practice or device designed to capture eroded soil within a construction site. When considering what types of BMPs are appropriate for your construction site, you should consider how to prevent soil erosion from occurring, and secondly how to capture any sediment once it has eroded or become displaced.
Whether it is the summer hurricane season or the winter rainy season, it is always important to implement appropriate E&SC measures on your construction projects. Remember that preventing erosion from occurring minimizes the need for sediment control measures. Additionally, in situations where there is the potential for flooding and sediment control BMPs need to be removed, the likelihood for sediment to be transported by storm water runoff into our storm drains, and ultimately into our receiving waters, is greatly reduced if the appropriate types of erosion control BMPs have been properly installed.