Erosion is one of the leading issues today, affecting land use, plant growth, and more importantly, construction sites. According to a new study, nearly $8 million economic losses can be attributed to erosion. Understanding construction erosion in full detail is important for making sure your next project will remain structurally sound and safe.
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Construction erosion is a term used to describe the impact of construction on the environment. Man-made structures such as roads, buildings, and bridges have led to a large amount of soil erosion in the U.S. and around the world. Aftereffects such as reduced plant growth and large sediment deposits in rivers or lakes have become unfortunate realities in the construction industry. That being said, it’s important for your crew to start taking the necessary steps to reduce erosion at your worksite.
Types of Erosion
There are two primary types of erosion that can affect the topsoil found on construction sites or nearby areas of large worksites.
- Wind Erosion – More severe during times of drought or in arid areas such as the Great Plains, wind erosion is characterized by wind movement. In a process described as a deflation, movement in the air picks up soil particles and transfers them to another location. While construction crews may not have any control over the wind, large amounts of dust and digging spots contribute to erosion.
- Water Erosion – Observed in a number of forms, water erosion occurs when any water source moves the soil from one place to another. From rainfall to river currents, water has a powerful effect on sediment transport. For construction sites to remain protected, it’s important to have a water control solution you can trust.
Ways to Minimize Erosion
There are a number of potential problems to consider in regard to erosion. When the first layer of dirt and vegetation, or ground cover, disappear, more layers of the earth are uncovered. This causes problems for farmers, property owners, and the foundation of many buildings.
Depending on your situation and the specific needs of your project, there are a number of ways to help you prevent erosion, such as:
- Water diversion – Formulate a plan to guard against water and reroute running water in another direction affecting your worksite.
- Sediment control – Use control methods such as silt fencing, filter socks, or straw wattles to manage the soil that collects during water flow.
- Moderate excavation – Minimize or split your project into phases for excavation so that you can limit the size of your worksite.
Pro Tip: For projects located near water bodies, install an Aqua-Barrier inflatable cofferdam to reduce water passing through your worksite.
Protecting Your Construction Projects
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, erosion and sediment damages occur both on and off the construction site, ultimately affecting every member in society. As you plan your next construction project, make sure you are adequately prepared to prevent soil erosion around you. The foundation of your structure and responsibility to the environment depends on it.
Connect with our salesmen to find an erosion and sediment control solution designed to your specifications.