EROSION CONTROL/Blanket helps city meet NPDES requirements
In March 2001, construction sites at two Dalton, Ga., schools were found to be in violation of the state’s NPDES regulations. Officials with the state Environmental Protection Division cited the city because silt-laden water was running off the sites into nearby streams. According to the EPA, soil erosion and sedimentation are two of the primary problems associated with water pollution.
The city was using best management practices — installing silt fencing around the borders of the properties to help control erosion and placing straw bales around the storm drainage system to filter the runoff — as called for in its NPDES permit. However, those defensive measures taken to contain the erosion were insufficient for stabilizing steep slopes.
State officials issued a stop work order on the construction sites until the city could implement slope stabilization measures. The city chose to use a straw erosion control blanket, part of the Landlok family of temporary and permanent erosion control materials manufactured by Chickamauga, Ga.-based SI Geosolutions. The temporary blanket, which eventually biodegrades, is designed to protect soil and seeds until vegetation is established. It was installed on the site’s exposed slopes and then seeded.
The resulting site improvements allowed construction at Dalton Middle School and Park Creek Elementary School to resume within six months of the stop work order. The state EPD did not impose any fines on the city, but the state and the city had to work out standards for future projects to avoid similar situations.
“The government is satisfied with the steps we’ve taken to fix the problems,” says Dalton City Administrator Butch Sanders. “The community has been disappointed that the project was delayed, but I think everyone realizes that we’ve gotten a good dose of education when it comes to soil erosion measures. We won’t find ourselves in this situation again.”