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There are several possible threats that may exist within the realm of stormwater management and stormwater pollution prevention maintenance on any site, and erosion is often high up on any such list. Erosion of soil can create several issues that SWPPP setups are in place to help protect against, and there are a few different approaches to managing it - one such category here is known as seeding.

Here are some basics on why erosion can be such a threat in terms of pollutants, how erosion can turn into dust that creates its own set of issues, and how the use of different seeding methods may assist with managing erosion or dust risks for any SWPPP site.

SWPPP Dust and Erosion Control

Why Erosion is Problematic for SWPPP

There are several areas of our world where erosion can cause problems, and an SWPPP site is no exception. When erosion of soil occurs, it can displace sediment and other debris that may contain harmful pollutants - this can include things like oil, pesticides or other chemicals, bacteria from animal waste, and various others.

These unwanted particles then have the potential to make their way into nearby water sources through stormwater runoff - something the entire SWPPP setup is designed to prevent. Eroded soil can also be expensive to clean up, and in some cases may lead to legal or regulatory issues for a site owner if not properly managed.

Erosion Into Dust

Another issue that can arise from erosion is the creation of dust - this often happens when soil particles become very small and are carried away by wind, creating dusty conditions. Dust not only makes it more difficult to navigate construction sites, but can also pose health risks for both workers and nearby residents.

In terms of SWPPP, dust generated from erosion can also contribute to pollutants - this is because dust particles can become contaminated with any pollutants in the soil as they are carried away by wind or other means. This creates additional problems that must be managed in order to maintain compliance with SWPPP regulations.

Managing Both Water and Wind

While we'll get into specific SWPPP measures like seeding in just a moment, one overarching goal of any SWPPP site is to manage both water and wind. This means controlling erosion and sediment movement not just during rain or snow events, but also on windy days when dust can become a major issue.

To understand why both are important, it's helpful to grasp the entire process of erosion. On dirt-based sites, any rain event causes dirt to turn into mud and eventually flow downhill - SWPPP measures like stabilized construction entrances, sediment barriers, diversion ditches or similar BMPs are put in place to help prevent this.

On windy days, however, the same soil particles can become airborne and create dust issues that we've already discussed. This is why proper management of both water and wind is critical for any successful SWPPP site.

Seeding Methods for Erosion Control

One common approach to controlling erosion is through the use of various seeding methods. The basic idea here is to loosen the soil if needed, then apply topsoil and plant quick-growing seeds. In most cases, the area will then be covered by hay, mulch or another material to help the seeds take root and grow.

Another common seeding method is known as hydroseeding, where a mix of water, seed and fertilizer is sprayed onto the surface. This allows for faster growth and establishment of vegetation, which in turn helps stabilize the soil and prevent erosion.

There are also different types of plants that can be used for erosion control, depending on the site and specific needs. For example, some plants have longer root systems that are more effective at holding soil in place, while others may be better suited for hot or dry climates.

The primary goal of seeding for erosion control is to establish a strong plant cover that will hold the soil in place and prevent it from being carried away by water or wind. This not only helps protect against pollutants, but also helps maintain compliance with SWPPP regulations.

Erosion can be a major threat to stormwater management and SWPPP sites, but there are effective measures that can be taken to prevent it. If you're in need of SWPPP solutions, including erosion control and management, don't hesitate to contact us at Cearley SWPPP. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping clients around Ogden maintain compliance and protect the environment.

There are several terms or concepts that may play an important role in any stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) setup on any jobsite or similar area, and one that cannot be ignored here is known as "impaired waters." What are impaired waters, which pollutant sources can contribute to creating them, and how must they be considered within SWPPP setups and stormwater management approaches?

At Cearley SWPPP, we're here to help with a wide range of SWPPP services around Ogden, from SWPPP plans and permits to erosion control services, SWPPP inspections and more. Here are some basics on what the term impaired waters means, the kinds of pollutants that most commonly tend to create impaired waters, and some other important topics related to impaired waters and SWPPP management for full compliance and safety.

Understanding Impaired Waters in SWPPP

What Are Impaired Waters?

For those who are just learning about SWPPP management and what it really involves, impaired waters are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as any water body that does not meet required standards for one or more of its designated uses. This means that the water may be contaminated or otherwise unable to support its intended use, whether that's recreation, drinking water, aquatic life habitats and others.

The most common form of impaired waters, by far, is pollution of various kinds. Water can become polluted from a wide range of sources, from industrial sites and agricultural operations to urban runoff, wastewater treatment plants and many others. Let's take a closer look at some of the most frequently observed sources of impaired waters in different parts of the country.

Common Pollutant Sources

As we noted above, pollutants that contribute to creating impaired waters can come from a variety of sources. In fact, there are well over 100 different possible contaminants that can enter water bodies depending on the area.

Naturally, we won't go over every single one of those here. However, here are some of the most common we tend to see around Ogden and other parts of Utah:

Unacceptable Levels of Impairment

One of the more nuanced areas of impaired waters in SWPPP is the fact that acceptable and unacceptable levels of impairment will vary heavily. The primary variable here is how the body of water is used - for example, a swimming pool will have much stricter standards for water quality than a lake used for fishing.

There are also different categories of impairment that can be assigned to a body of water, depending on the severity and extent of contamination. For example, if a water body is identified as "impaired," it may have one or more pollutants present at levels high enough to affect its designated use. However, if a water body is identified as "impaired" with a TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load), this means that the pollutant levels are high enough to require a specific plan for cleanup and restoration.

Impaired Waters and Drought

As several areas of Utah remain in some level of drought, it's important to note that this can impact impaired waters and how they are managed. Drought conditions tend to only worsen impaired water situations - this is primarily because higher concentrations of pollutants are present when water levels are low, so even small amounts of runoff can have a bigger impact on water quality.

That's why it's especially important for construction sites and other businesses to prioritize SWPPP management during times of drought. Proper erosion control measures and stormwater management strategies can help prevent excess pollution from entering impaired waters and causing further harm.

Impaired Waters and SWPPP

Luckily, SWPPP typically contains multiple measures designed to prevent or mitigate potential impacts on impaired waters:

Impaired waters are a serious concern for both environmental health and human use of water bodies. By understanding the sources of impairment and implementing proper SWPPP management strategies, we can work towards cleaner, safer water for all.

At Cearley SWPPP, we are dedicated to helping businesses and construction sites in Ogden and throughout Utah stay in compliance with SWPPP regulations and protect our water resources. Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an inspection.

There are a few different contaminants or pollutants that may impact stormwater runoff and related areas for construction sites, and one of the most well-known here is sediment. Often caused by erosion from soil, the presence of sediment in stormwater can be a significant pollutant that must be managed properly on the job site.

At Cearley SWPPP, we're here to help with all stormwater pollution prevention needs in Ogden and nearby areas, from plan creation and permits to inspections, training, signage and more. Here are some basics on what sediment is, the sources it can come from, and why it's a pollutant risk on sites - plus what should be done to control it.

role sediment stormwater pollutant

What is Sediment?

For those unfamiliar with the term, sediment is simply particles of sand, silt, clay and organic material (such as leaves) that become suspended in water. It can come from a variety of sources, including:

The Risks Posed by Sediment in Water

There are several ways sediment in waterways can degrade the quality of water and create pollutant and contaminant risks. These include:

Carrying Other Pollutants

Maybe worst of all, sediment often carries other significant pollutants along with it as it flows through water. Here are some examples:

Therefore, managing sediment on job sites is essential to protecting the environment, preventing pollution and minimizing potential costs associated with cleanup.

How to Consider Sediment Within SWPPP

Sediment control is a big part of any stormwater pollution prevention plan. It is important to include strategies for sediment control in your SWPPP, particularly if you are working on a job site that has potential for increased erosion or discharge of sediment into receiving waters.

Your SWPPP should include methods and practices for preventing the generation of sediment before it is released off-site, as well as measures for controlling sediment that is already on the job site. These can include things like silt fences, check dams and other best management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce and control sediment.

You should also consider how to prevent erosion from occurring in the first place. This can include slope stabilization practices, using terracing or vegetation, and other methods to reduce the chance of erosion in high-hazard areas. Additionally, consider how you will manage sediment after it is created, such as using catch basin inserts or sandbags for drainage systems.

At Cearley SWPPP, we have a team of stormwater experts who can help you to consider sediment in your SWPPP, so that you can protect the environment and maintain compliance with regulations. Contact us today to learn more about any of our SWPPP services around Ogden.