Keep Your Project Free of Costly Fines
Despite the economic benefits new housing or other construction projects can bring to a locale, there’s always a potential downside. Exposed soil and reshaped land mean erosion from stormwater runoff. Environmentally, all this water can have a disastrous impact. If unchecked, the flow into storm drains, sewers and trenches often contain massive quantities of contaminants. Sediment, silt, debris, and even chemical pollutants can end up in lakes and streams.
In waterways around the country, sediment pumped out or running off construction sites remains one of the most significant sources of water pollution. Suspended sediment diminishes water clarity, inhibits the growth of aquatic plants, and can deprive fish of important food sources. In addition, phosphorus from construction site water often contributes to explosive algae growth. Like most ecological problems, all of these issues can ripple throughout the environment, disrupting sensitive life cycles and ecosystems.
Accordingly, government agencies at the state and federal level have set tight standards for the quality of water pumped from sites during dewatering efforts. Contractors who run afoul of those regulations can find themselves in the midst of costly project delays and fines.
Leaving the Sediment Behind
There are cost-effective ways of accomplishing an environmentally responsible dewatering process. Dewatering bags are a common option. These effectively trap silt and sediment while allowing water to escape through the bag’s geotextile material. You simply pump the sediment-borne water into ports located on the bags. As the water passes through the bag’s fabric over time, simply pump it full repeatedly until there’s nothing left in the bag but the sediment. At that point the bag can be cut open for the safe disposal of the remaining sediment. Read about Dewatering Bag Specifications or view other Dewatering Filter Bags.
GEI Works carries these bags in its Taurus line of dewatering products.
Tubes and Socks
Some dewatering best-management practices call for a substantially larger option to accommodate greater quantities of water. For example, the quantities found in agricultural ponds, paper mills, lagoons, and aquaculture sites. Geotextile Dewatering Tubes have much larger dimensions than the bags and are made of stronger fabric to meet the demands of the increased volume. They require little equipment for installation and can filter the water 24 hours a day with minimal supervision. These factors make them highly economical.
A dewatering sock is another way of filtering sediment-borne water as it leaves the work site. The Taurus Dewatering Filter Sock is available in three diameters to fit whatever pipe is in use: 8", 12", and 16". As water passes through the sock, sediment and debris stay behind to help keep these materials from entering the drain.
Other Dewatering Products
Filters placed over grates and in storm drains or ditches can be cost-effective methods of reducing sediments that enter drains via stormwater. The patented Taurus Over Grate Drain Cover is a self-contained, low-profile unit that fits on top of the grate to filter contaminants. The unit is held in place by a quick-connect system that lies flat to the ground so it doesn’t hamper or pose a hazard to foot and vehicle traffic. The quick connections won’t damage brushes on street sweepers. (U.S. Patent No. 10,053,383 B2)
The Taurus Curb Inlet Guard Filter fits into the storm drain opening itself – conveniently out of the way – occupying the unused space in the mouth of the drain. The unobtrusive unit installs easily, filtering out sediment, debris and other pollutants. Unlike other products on the market, the Curb Inlet Filter has overflow ports on the top. When the hopper fills with sediment, water keeps flowing into the storm sewer from these ports to mitigate any pooling issues around the unit.
The Taurus Ditch Check functions like a mini check-dam wall. Placed in ditches, swales, and other runoff locations, it rises with the water level to slow down the flow, helping settle suspended sediment. The geotextiles filter out harmful materials while allowing the water to pass through. The Ditch Check flattens out when there’s no water.
Contact GEI Works
So there are many options for contractors trying to keep sediment and other pollutants out of waterways. Many can be used in concert with one another. But be sure to use a dewatering solution that’s effective for your particular application. The alternative can be a stiff fine or delay in your work: something nobody wants.