Land Disturbance & Stormwater Management

The information on this page is also available in a PDF Version (PDF).

Why Water Pollution Prevention Is Important

As population increases it becomes increasingly important to participate in activities that help keep our waterways clean and healthy.

Changes in land use, partially due to housing developments and construction, affect the quality of water that drains through the watersheds and into rivers. The increase in impervious surfaces (rooftops, sidewalks, parking lots, driveways) cause an increase in runoff volume and velocity resulting in more flooding and erosion because impervious surfaces prevent water from soaking into the ground and replenishing groundwater.

As runoff increases, more human-made pollution is picked up as it flows across streets, parking lots, lawns and agricultural areas. In fact, anything found on the ground or on impervious surfaces can wind up in storm water runoff.

How Pollution Affects You

Polluted runoff begins a chain of events that causes many problems in our rivers and streams. Aquatic life and animals feeding from rivers become seriously ill and die. Recreational swimming, fishing and boating becomes unpleasant or unsafe due to odor, taste and aesthetic problems. Maintenance costs increase because uncontrolled sediment causes erosion and flooding problems. Our drinking water supplies and, therefore, our health is affected by polluted storm water runoff.

This page provides some common sense practices for builders at construction sites that can help prevent pollution from entering storm water runoff and, ultimately, protect the well-being of our rivers and streams.

Erosion & Sediment Control Requirements for Construction Sites

Builders do have a responsibility to provide pollution controls at the job site that help assure pollutants do not enter our waterways. This information outlines pollution control measures necessary with any land disturbance activity. The City of Festus requires that land disturbance activity provide adequate control of erosion and sedimentation at the construction site. In other words, when you dig, your dirt stays on your site and does not drain to the neighbors, the streets, or in the stormwater pipe system.

Erosion Control means keeping the dirt in place. Sediment Control means protection after the dirt has become dislodged. Erosion control measures such as mulch, blankets, mats, and vegetative cover protect the soil surface and prevent soil particles from being dislodged and carried away by wind or water. Sediment control measures remove soil particles after they have been detached by rain, flowing water or wind. Erosion Control measures should be used in conjunction with sedimentation control measures.

  1. Erosion Control
  2. Sediment Control
  3. Excavations
  4. Protect Storm Drains
  5. Construction Materials
  6. Splatters & Debris
  7. Disposal of Waste
  8. Clean Up
  9. Sanitary / Septic Waste
  10. Storage of Solid Waste
  11. Finishing Up

Erosion Control

All disturbed areas of soil must be protected from eroding, especially steep slopes and large exposed areas. Soil should be stabilized so it does not invade neighboring property or wash into storm drains, streams or rivers.

  • Construct soil binders, or silt fencing and straw bales to hold disturbed soil.
  • Establish earth dikes and drainage swales.
  • Install check dams, slope drains
  • For steep slopes, use rip rap to prevent erosion
  • Multiple forms of erosion control must be utilized in highly concentrated water flow areas.