One of the biggest concerns when dealing with construction projects is erosion control. There are various potential causes why erosion happens, and each case is different. Every circumstance calls for a specific solution based on the severity of the issue. Erosion control is significant to implement for protecting new structures or preserving the construction site and reducing the environmental impact every project contributes to the surrounding area.
Today, contractors are continuously developing new methods and strategies to minimize erosion and other environmental impacts. Even manufacturers are developing innovative products and materials to lessen the severity of the erosion. This blog will discuss erosion control and outline some common and advanced ways to control erosion in the construction site. Take a look below.
How Do Construction Site Causes Erosion?
By default, construction involves tons of earth movement, both unintentional and intentional. This continuous movement leads to erosion, which impacts the site and the natural areas surrounding it. Additionally, earth movement isn’t the only major cause of erosion at the construction site. In fact, even changing the land levels with the implementation of grading can also lead to water and wind erosion.
This series of changes can severely harm the environment and can ruin soil quality. Hence, it causes erosion and water pollution that can impact both animals and plants. At the end of the day, it is the contractor’s major responsibility to limit erosion through implementing responsible practices. Using construction scheduling software will help contractors sort out tasks and manage team members, making the work easier.
Furthermore, to understand erosion control even better, here are its 6 basic principles:
· Increase resistive forces and reduce erosive forces
· Implement sediment control
· Limit soil exposure
· Modify and adjust topography
· Minimize runoff velocity
· Inspect, check and repair regularly
While construction erosion only affects the surrounding areas, the impact of it can be extremely damaging. Several construction activities like grading and filling can lessen soil quality leading to environmental degradation. Some of the ecological dangers of erosion at the construction site include reducing soil quality and polluted water.
10 Ways to Effectively Control Erosion
1. Turbidity Barriers
One of the primary ways to prevent soil erosion and keep any form of contaminants away from the water source is to implement turbidity barriers. These barriers are commonly made from floating geotextile membranes that are anchored with weights. It consists of a flotation boom, a piece of a water-resistant fabric curtain that can extend downwards. Besides, a heavy galvanized chain is used to seal into a hem alongside the curtain length.
There are many cases wherein turbidity barriers are utilized for supplemental sediment control. In fact, turbidity barriers are also recognized as floating turbidity silt curtains today. For contractors, implementing such a strategy is much easier and convenient using a subcontractor scheduling software. Every single detail of the project is monitored and tracked, including the subcontractor handling it.
2. French Drains
A French drain is comprised of underground piping systems called a drain tile. This tile usually channels groundwater and surface area to any exit points. The drain tiles are perforated several times to allow water to seepage beneath the soil while the excess water is traveling to the exit portions. In order to achieve proper installation for French drains, a 1-inch slope is required.
Following the measurement can allow French drains to drop per 10 ft. Contractors not only can achieve proper installation for French drains using the given procedure. In fact, using a builder trend software can make the installation faster and easier to do. This advanced tool is advantageous in every possible way.
3. MSE Walls
MSE or mechanically stabilized earth walls are the latest technology. In recent decades, this technology was able to replace various conventional concrete retaining walls. The best thing about MSE walls is that it is a composite structure having several alternating layers. The layers are comprised of soil reinforcement elements and compacted backfill.
Furthermore, this type of wall can provide various benefits over traditional reinforced walls such as speed and installation ease. Projects manager and contractors prefer to use MSE walls because of the easy and faster installation process. Thus, MSE walls offer not just flexibility but also seismic resistance as well as load-bearing capacity. Huge thanks to these features, these walls can be certainly built at tall heights.
4. Articulated Concrete Block
ACBs, short for articulated concrete block, provides a solid armored surface. These concrete blocks are considered as an alternative for riprap. ACBs comprise a combination of individual concrete blocks that are put together. It will form erosion-resistant overlays with certain hydraulic characteristics. Also, ACBs are considered as revetment systems, produced in different thicknesses and various shapes. That is why any contractors must use advanced technologies like crew schedule software to handle this method’s complexities and the pressure of managing construction projects.
These concrete blocks are capable of interlocking a mix of blocks to be more flexible. The weight, shapes, and sizes of the blocks are uniform despite the difference. The piles of blocks will be connected using a series of cables. It will be sufficient to handle erosion, specifically on the ridges of boat ramps and drainage channels. ACBs can be molded to any existing areas to provide protection against erosion.
The best way to control erosion and improves soil conditions at the same time is through the use of geotextiles. Geotextiles are preferably used to obtain more effective and lasting results before installing pipelines, roads, embankments, or other earth-retaining structures. This type of tiles usually has a warp-knitted design or an open mesh weave, nonwoven surface or close fabric.
When choosing the best geotextiles, make sure to consider some of the fundamental factors, including filtration, sealing, separation, drainage, protection, and reinforcement. When selecting the best project management software in the market, make sure to choose task scheduler software.
6. Soil Nails
When it comes to improving resistance against consistent slope failures, soil nails are best used since they can be installed very quickly. The basic procedure comprises placing a chain of steel bars and drilling into the soil deep down into the earth. The soil nails are capped directly at the surface areas, creating a barrier resembling a sequence of retaining walls.
As a substitute, soil nails are driven into the soil and directly grouted in place right after the installation. Speaking of installations, the best way to manage such tricky step-by-step procedures is to use construction management software. The entire work is easier to schedule and much more manageable to handle.
7. Dust Control Method
Any dust control methods must only be implemented to the construction site where there are potential air and water pollution. These two common pollutions usually occur when the dust is traveling through the landscape areas. However, uncontrolled dust pollution worsens the detrimental effects of wind erosion. Several methods are used to control dust, specifically in the construction sites where misted silt fences, misted water, and polymer additives are included.
The method typically used to protect soil from erosion in many concentrated runoff areas is known as riprap. Ripraps are a layer of large stones tangled with one another and are acting as barriers on slopes. There are a few slopes in the area that are relatively unstable due to seepage problems. Hence, this method is very useful and practical to solve such issues.
The method is utilized continuously to reduce erosion in riverbeds and lakeshores. Furthermore, ripraps are implemented over synthetic geotextiles to avoid soil from moving against the riprap.
9. Inflatable Dams
The majority of the contractors nowadays have turned to use inflatable water dams specifically for erosion control and dewatering needs. These water dams are known to be cheaper than traditional methods of earthen dams and sandbags. The barriers are also cost-effective, which is seen as a huge plus. Above all, everything is just so easy to install while moving around and still water. It also conforms to every site’s boundaries, thus providing a seal that stops the passage of water onsite.
10. Sediment Control
The soil being dislodged by water flow is called sediment. Once the sediments are in liquid motion, it will become difficult to gather and will exasperate erosion. Filter socks, silt fencing, and straw wattles are all typically used to catch and control sediments. This sequence of control methods is not purposely designed to handle water pressure. Hence, it is essential to implement these strategies across ditches, waterways, or other rigorous water flow areas.
The ten solutions for controlling and preventing erosion are considered huge help in maintaining the surrounding areas’ eco-balance during construction projects. It is a comprehensive list, yet it will give contractors a head start in preventing erosion during project execution. These solutions might be either easy or quite challenging to implement yet it is very helpful and practical in preserving the environment.