Erosion Control for Winter Construction

By Cheyenne Hoffa, Resource Conservationist

Controlling erosion and sediment on construction sites is a year-round battle. With winter right around the corner, the snow and ice that is to come will give the soil on site a break from active construction and rainfall. Once spring rolls around, you will be sure to see many of the erosion control practices in place failing due to snow and ice melt, which can produce high volumes of runoff.

Be proactive by identifying areas that will be subject to concentrated flow during snow melt or winter rains.

What can contractors do to prevent practices from failing and falling out of compliance with Rule 5?

  1. Erosion control blankets and mulching: Stabilization is the most important erosion control measure. Keeping soil in its place prevents sediment control failure down the line. The more soil that is stabilized on the ground, means less that piles up be-hind a silt fence, rock check dam or other sediment control devices that are subject to maintenance and failure. While stabilizing the ground before the cold winter weather hits is preferred, seeding with a winter mix and applying mulch can help reduce erosion after most seeding dates have passed. The optimum time to conduct frost seeding is in late winter to early spring after the snow is gone but while the ground is still frozen. In Indiana, frost seeding should occur from February 1st to March 15th. Using erosion control blankets, straw mulch or hydromulching are all great options to stabilize your job site and protect the soil before construction slows down in the winter season.
  2. Identify problem areas: Be proactive by identifying areas that will be subject to concentrated flow during snow melt or winter rains. Perform-ing the required self-inspections can help to identify those problem areas and can guide you to make positive changes to your erosion control plan. By identifying areas that may fail, you can take steps to prevent noncompliance is-sues.
  3. Ask for help: If you are concerned that your site isn’t prepped for winter, give us a call at (317)-786-1776 and we can provide assistance and information about how to comply with Rule 5.

What can citizens of Marion County do to protect water resources from construction site runoff?

If you see sediment or sediment laden water coming from a construction site in your area, give us a call at (317)-786-1776 to help us Stop that Dirt.

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