The Importance of Effective Sediment Control Treatments

18 November 2021

Tons of natural processes must be accounted for when conducting construction projects. One of these processes is erosion.

Erosion is a geological process wherein natural materials like soil and rocks are worn away and transported to other places. These materials are often moved by natural forces like gravity, water, or wind. However, they can also be moved by various human activities such as deforestation and unsustainable planning practices. With the prolonged occurrence of erosion, communities might expect increased water runoff, enhanced flooding, boosted sedimentation in bodies of water, and deteriorated soil layers.

Fortunately, the effects of erosion in construction sites can be mitigated by sediment control.

A Quick Overview of Sediment Control

Sediment control is a process of limiting the eroded soils from being transported into the boundaries of a construction site. With effective sediment control, the eroded soils will not be able to cause more pollution to nearby bodies of water like lakes, rivers, seas, or streams. It can likewise prevent the eroded soils from gradually raising the water levels as well as getting deposited onto the streets.

Aside from safety reasons, the practice of sediment control can also help in preserving the environment. Since eroded soils are prevented from reaching bodies of water, aquatic animals will not have difficulty breathing and reproducing. Even plants are expected to live and grow without any issues.

A List of Sediment Control Treatments

The treatments available for sediment control have been designed to easily mitigate or even prevent the previously stated effects of erosion. Some of these treatments are as follows:

  • Silt Fences: Silt fences are permeable geotextile barriers that can capture and retain sediment. They are often installed in a trench and are supported by wooden posts or star pickets. With silt fences, the run-off on site is expected to slow down until it cannot hold the sediment anymore. 
  • Straw Bales: Straw bales, on the other hand, are intended to capture the sediment. They must only be used alongside silt fences for optimum results. With straw bales, their exterior portion is expected to trap coarse particulates, while their interior portion can effectively trap smaller particulates.
  • Coir Logs: Coir logs are cylindrical logs that are made from coconut fibre. They work and operate similarly to straw bales. However, they are designed to last much longer than the mentioned sediment control treatment. Coir logs are often utilised in stabilising creek beds and shorelines.
  • Rock Bunds: Rock bunds are porous bunds that are made from geotextile encasing rock. They are often utilised in eradicating coarse particulates. 
  • Sediment Basins: Sediment basins, ultimately, are intended to slow down the run-off until the sediment drops out. This particular sediment control treatment can be effective on construction sites that contain fine or dispersive soil.

To know more about these treatments, you can call us at Fairdinkum Technical Services. We are a boutique organisation with operation centres located in New South Wales and Queensland, with over 35 years of experience in engineering design and construction, providing technical engineering design.

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