Construction Site Sediment Control… Simple Solutions To A Complex Challenge

Anyone dealing with construction site regulation compliance issues knows that it’s not an easy job. Federal, state and local laws impact many facets of construction work, and keeping up with what seem to be constant changes can be overwhelming.

Compliance with the laws is vital, though, no matter how new they are. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes its job of enforcing laws very seriously, as evidenced on a page of its website listing companies that have made violations and the millions of dollars in fines they’ve received.

Of special concern on new construction projects is erosion and sediment control. Storm water runoff from construction sites carries with it enormous amounts of sediment and debris that, if allowed to enter waterways that feed into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans, will damage ecosystems and kill wildlife.

The Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972 now includes regulations mandating sediment and erosion control solutions for every construction site affecting one or more acres of land, and smaller ones associated with larger developments or sales. Before the ground on their sites is disturbed in any way, operators of these sites must submit erosion and sediment control plans detailing the erosion and sediment control solutions they will use to prevent erosion and control sediment runoff.

In addition to the erosion and sediment control plan, each construction site operator also must submit a storm water pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) and obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) construction storm water permit prior to beginning any project. An SWPPP identifies every pollution source that could enter storm water runoff from a given site, and a detailed account of the actions that will be taken to control and filter sediment, thus keeping it and the pollutants out of waterways.

Developing Your Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan: A Guide for Construction Sites, details the steps that must be taken to develop and execute an SWPPP. This free handbook from the EPA includes an SWPPP template that can be customized by each site operator, a sample inspection form and two sample SWPPPs. It’s applicable throughout the United States, in combination with state or EPA NPDES permits.

Though the NPDES is a federally regulated program, most states authorize their own NPDES permits. If work is being done in Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Hampshire or New Mexico, however, or on most tribal lands within the U.S., permits must be obtained from the EPA.

The Storm Water Resource Locator found on the Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center’s website is a valuable tool for construction site operators. Use it to find NPDES permit forms, SWPPP requirements, and regulations for erosion and sediment control and storm water management for each state.

Of course, following the laws regarding erosion and sediment control is even more important than understanding them, and the easiest way to ensure complete compliance is to rely on products and expertise provided by a company that has made meeting regulatory requirements its business.

Erosion and sediment control professionals are available to help developers overcome even their most difficult site challenges, with know-how and products for every need. One call to a sediment control expert can save a company countless hours of research into the law and sediment control methods, not to mention thousands – if not millions – of dollars in fines if regulations are not met precisely.

Once professional sediment control products are on a construction site, they continue to save contractors time and money. They’re made for quick installation, so they can be set up in minutes and then virtually forgotten about until runoff occurs.

Products are available that sit in front of curb inlets, within curb inlets, around and under storm grates, and more. All are made to allow storm water to pass into storm systems while filtering sediment and pollutants out.

After a rainfall or any type of watering has taken place, professional sediment control products can be inspected and cleaned out easily. Sediment and debris trapped within the products’ filters are removed quickly, so the products can be reused time and time again, making them hassle-free and extremely cost efficient.

Finding a reputable, reliable sediment control company should be on any developer’s “to do” list when planning a project. Utilizing the expertise of a company dedicated to sediment control saves construction professionals valuable time, countless dollars and unnecessary worry by helping ensure complete compliancy with complex laws from start to finish.

The Three Steps Of Water Pipeline Construction

The organizing phase of wet utility pipeline construction is focused on the formation of design plans developed by design engineers. In order to create blueprints, engineers need to acquire detailed dataabout the worksite.

This is accomplished by working with subsurface utility engineering (SUE) companies that survey the site using high-tech products. SUE methods are equipped for creating 3D images that identify objects buried underground, such as water pipeline or utility systems.

Subsurface utility engineering methods are very valuable to everyone involved in the project. Having the ability to identify the position of previously installed pipeline let contractors perform their job more safely and proficiently, as well as decrease project costs.

Before SUE methods were developed, pipeline companies had minimal resources to determine what was lurking below ground. It wasn’t unusual for laborers to accidentally break pipes or slice utility lines while excavating the construction site or making trenches. This often led to workplace incidents that triggered worker injuries or sometimes even death.

Any time existing pipes were discovered during the excavation process, construction workers had to quit work so that design engineers could either overhaul or relocate pipelines. This brought about long delays and resulted in an increase in project costs.

Thankfully, SUE technology removed the majority or risk factors attached to pipeline construction. Today, construction sites are significantly safer and project delays have been minimized, saving project owners a substantial amount of money.

Pipeline construction is essential for supplying natural resources to people, together with removing storm water runoff and waste water. Water pipeline systems provide human beings with basic necessities and play a important role in public safety.

Many different factors have to be looked at during the pre-construction planning phase. One of the more important is determining which kind of pipes is needed to effectively convey water while lessening impact to the environment.

Each of the factors associated with the project undergo extensive examination during the design phase. Civil engineers evaluate facts gathered from SUE to determine water flow rates and appropriate pipe sizes. Construction plans are taken to city planners and project owners for acceptance. Plans designed for public works projects have to comply with government regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agency.

After blueprints are submitted, project owners acquire bids from pipeline construction companies. The company chosen to complete the project must supply the General Contractor with confirmation of insurance, construction permits, and easement rights before construction begins.

The active construction stage is a three-part process. The initial phase revolves around clearing the worksite of debris and grading the land. Trucks bring in pipes and construction products so workers can start the trenching process.

Pipe sections are placed alongside trenches and welded together. Contractors use a special epoxy coating that is placed on welded joints to remove weak points that could leak. The pipeline is then lowered into trenches and finishing details are applied.

After pipeline is put into place it endures a series of tests to assure the pipes have no leaks and that structural integrity has not been jeopardized.

Several inspections are executed throughout the active construction period. Inspectors evaluate contractors’ licenses, construction permits, and insurance policies and make certain employees are sufficiently trained in construction safety procedures. Inspectors also examine pipes and components to make certain that construction supplies, pipeline formula, and structural integrity are in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

The post-construction step revolves around restoring the terrain by backfilling trenches, landscaping the ground, and removing waste materials. Additional inspections are done to make certain pipeline are working at greatest capacity and to test structural integrity.

Pipeline projects are identified as either wet or dry utility. Dry utility contractors carry out work related to pipes that carry non-gaseous materials or safeguard utility systems from ecological elements.

Wet utility contractors conduct work on pipeline systems that carry liquid materials such as storm water runoff, treated water, raw sewage, and petroleum-based products.

It is suggested to work with skilled wet utility construction contractors that are skilled in the kind of work involved. Seek out contractors that have an impeccable construction safety report and are in compliance with the EPA.