Sediment and Erosion Control

Typically, steep slopes and large exposed areas require the most robust sediment and erosion controls; flatter slopes and smaller areas still require protection, but less costly materials may be appropriate for these areas.

Sediment containment systems allow soil particles held in suspension to "settle out" of storm water runoff. These systems are typically hydraulic controls that slow down runoff water velocities, allowing the sedimentation of supsended particles by gravity.

Sediment control systems may be structures, devices or some combination of the two. Examples of sediment control solutions are sediment basins, sediment ponds and sediment traps. When designed correctly, sediment containment structures provide storage volume sufficient to handle all incoming water and allow sedimentation.

However, it is not always feasible to retain all runoff waters from a construction site, since large containment areas and volumes are required. Also, evaporation and infiltration might not be sufficient to drain the system before the next storm event occurs, which may cause flooding problems. In these cases, sediment can be controlled by temporary BMPs found on construction sites.