Construction sites are a common sight during the warmer months in NE Ohio. Every construction site where soil is disturbed through excavation or grading is required by the state of Ohio to have a stabilized construction entrance to minimize construction traffic from tracking sediment into public roadways.
A stabilized construction drive consists of large stone, usually 1.5”- 3” in diameter placed on top of a non-woven geotextile. The stone of the stabilized construction entrance act as scrapers that will remove some sediment from vehicle tires. The drive is sized based on the activity of the site and can be 30’ to over 70’ long, or roughly the size of a standard driveway. The depth of the stone also varies based on the activity of the site and can be from 6” to 18” deep. The depth becomes sediment storage capacity. Once the stone is embedded with sediment it should receive a clean top coat of stone or replaced completely.
Why is trapping sediment on a construction site important? Briefly stated, sediment entering the storm drain has an accumulative and incremental negative impact to infrastructure.
When sediment builds up in storm drains it reduces the amount of storm water that can flow through it. During torrential rain events, water will back up and flood the street. If up slope storm sewers are functioning properly and down slope storm sewers are restricted during down-pour rains, water can come out of storm drain inlets instead of entering into it.
Clogged storm sewers require maintenance from specialized equipment like a vacuum truck. High pressure jets of water on the end of a hose flush the sediment to a point where it can be vacuumed out. This cost incurred by tax payers can be minimized when sediment is kept out of the storm sewers in the first place.
Call your city and report if you see muddy chocolate milk like storm water runoff entering into the storm drain or dirt being tracked off of construction sites by trucks, or you’ll end up paying for it.
Blog Author: Brian White, Urban Conservationist