Lake Shore Construction BMPs
Comprehensive Compliance Solutions for Lake Construction Projects
Without careful planning and preparation, lake construction projects can be laden with unexpected environmental compliance surprises. Often those surprises equate to expensive costs such as regulatory fees, and job-site shut downs. There is good news though! By planning ahead, filing your EPA mandated SWPPP (Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan) and properly installing the lake shore construction BMPs, your project can run smoothly without fear of regulatory interference.
The Impact of Lake Shore Construction on Erosion Pollution
It's often thought that lake construction compliance is something that only big companies and big projects need to pay attention to. Not so. No matter how small your project, even a slight infraction can have far-reaching effects, for both your budget and the environment.
There are three primary ways that lake shore construction projects create pollution that significantly impacts the surrounding environment and natural habitats.
Cause #1: Soil becomes exposed to the elements.
In construction projects, this is understandably unavoidable. Here, the concern isn't so much that the exposed soil is affected, but rather that it be controlled and kept on the jobsite. While wind can also contribute to erosion, stormwater is usually the biggest offender. This not only includes the lake shore banks, but also the adjoining land within the project area. To stay in compliance, the sediment must not leave the job site. Once the exposed soil has been permanently stabilized, this no longer is a concern.
The Solution: Erosion Control BMPs such as Silt Fence, Staked Turbidity Fence, and others.
Cause #2: In-water projects disturb the sediment, creating silt-laden water.
For in-water lake shore construction projects, layers of sediment beneath the water become disturbed, creating turbid (cloudy) water. Just like with the land-based erosion, to avoid fines and stay in compliance, the affected water must not leave the job site area.
The Solution: Turbidity Control BMPs such as Turbidity Barrier for Lake Shore Construction.
Cause #3: Fuel and chemical spills enter the water systems.
Any toxic spills, whether fuel or other chemicals, unless captured immediately, will enter either the water table, or will eventually make their way into the lake or its supporting water system. Responsible efforts to prevent and capture potential spills keep your job site in compliance.
The Solution: Spill Containment BMPs such as spill basins, spill berms, and spill kits.
Why Best Management Practices (BMPs) Matter for Lake Construction
These causes of lake construction pollution are more significant than they may at first seem. Each has its own considerable impact, not only to the area surrounding the construction site, but also to every single watershed downstream of that project, and even to the ocean it eventually feeds into. To keep you in compliance, your lake shore construction SWPPP needs to consider the following:
Erosion Control BMPs
With each rainstorm, significant amounts of soil wash away from the job site, into the ditches, streams, rivers and lakes. Besides the fact that that you've lost soil that you'll likely have to replace, it also contributes to filling the waterways on its path to the ocean. Over years, this accumulates to the point that it physically alters the path of the streams, rivers, and lakes. It is estimated that over 8 billion tons of sediment is washed to the sea every year.
Common solutions for staying in compliance for lake construction projects include:
- Silt Fence - While often used as a construction site barrier, it also filters stormwater by trapping sediment and debris as the stormwater passes through the tiny openings in the fence fabric.
- Staked Turbidity Barrier - Made of impermeable PVC fabric, this fence contains stormwater and directs to a filtration point.
- Coir Logs - can act as stormwater filters as well as for soil stabilization.
- Mud Rumbler - Keeps trucks and equipment from tracking sediment from the job site into the roadways.
Turbidity Control BMPs
When in-water construction projects disturb the sediment on the lake's floor, it creates cloudy water. The degree of cloudiness (turbidity) is measurable, and in higher readings causes havoc on the lake's ecosystem. It blocks sunlight, causing the aquatic plants to die. With fewer plants, there is less oxygen being added to the water, so the lake's oxygen levels deplete. The combination of low-oxygen and lack of sunlight, create conditions that are perfect for algae blooms. The sediment in the water also can accumulate in the gills of fish. With the combination of low oxygen in the water and their gills clogged, fish-kill conditions can also develop.
The primary solution for staying in compliance is Triton Turbidity Barrier for lake shore construction in water. Turbidity barrier is a floating PVC fence that contains the sediment filled water until the sediment settles back to the lake floor. It also traps any floating debris that may have escaped from the job site. There are several options available, built to suit a variety of common job site requirements. Our Turbidity Curtain Selection Guide can help you in selecting the best option of turbidity barrier for your lake construction project.
Spill Containment BMPs
Oil, fuel, and chemical spills are toxic and dangerous not only to the exposed personnel, but to the people and animals living in the nearby area. Using standard best practices when using these toxins, as well as keeping materials on hand for unexpected spills will help keep you in good stead with your local environmental authorities. Spill containment solutions include:
- Spill Basins for capturing spills at the time they happen.
- Drive Through Spill Berms for parking vehicles or equipment on to ensure that no leakage from the vehicle escapes into the job site.
- Containment Pools are another way of protecting the site from vehicle leaks on site.
- Spill Kits are best kept on hand, in case of emergency. Each kit is tailored to the specific type of chemical or fuel, and is ready for use at a moment's notice.
These are just a few of GEI Works' lake shore construction BMP solutions. For assistance in selecting the products that will fit your budget and your project's needs, please contact us.