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General guidelines for preventing non-point source pollution on construction sites

If erosion controls are not properly installed or maintained on a construction site,  then excessive amounts of sediment and debris can be carried directly into the stormwater system and our rivers and lakes.  Construction vehicles can leak fuel, oil, and other harmful fluids that can be picked up by stormwater and deposited into local water bodies. Divert stormwater away from disturbed or exposed areas of the construction site. Install silt fence, filter sock, vehicle mud removal areas, vegetative cover, and other sediment and erosion controls and properly maintain them, especially after rainstorms. Prevent soil erosion by minimizing the amount disturbed areas during construction projects, and seed and mulch bare areas as soon as possible.

For more guidelines on how to protect stormwater on your construction site, refer to Ohio’s “Rainwater and Land Development Manual” or contact the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Follow the tips below to help keep stormwater clean during construction activities:
Protect Natural FeaturesMinimize clearing.  Minimize the amount of exposed soil. Identify and protect areas where existing vegetation, such as trees, will not be disturbed by construction activity. Protect streams, stream buffers, woodlands, wetlands, or other sensitive areas from any disturbance or construction activity by fencing or otherwise clearly marking these areas.
Construction PhasingSequence construction activities so that the soil is not exposed for long periods of time.Schedule or limit grading to small areas.Install sediment control practices before construction activities begin.Schedule site stabilization activities, such as landscaping, to be completed immediately after the land has been graded to its final contour.
Vegetative BuffersProtect and install vegetative buffers along water bodies to slow and filter stormwater runoff. 

Maintain buffers by mowing or replanting as needed.
Site StabilizationVegetate, mulch, or otherwise stabilize all exposed areas as soon as land alterations have been completed.  Vegetative treatments must be applied within 14 days of the last soil disturbance.
Storm Drain Inlet ProtectionInstall approved sediment control structures on storm drains.  Be sure to maintain the control structures regularly and replace them when needed.
Dirt StockpilesCover or seed all dirt piles.

Keep stockpiles away from storm drains, drainage ways, and streams.
SlopesRough grade or terrace slopes. 

Break up long slopes with with sediment barriers, or under drain, or divert stormwater away from slopes. 
Construction EntrancesRemove mud and dirt from the tires of construction vehicles before they enter a paved roadway. 

Properly install a stabilized construction entrance and maintain it as needed.
Silt FencingInspect and maintain silt fences after each rainstorm.
Make sure the bottom of the silt fence is buried in the ground. 

Securely attach the material to the stakes. 

Don’t place silt fences in the middle of a waterway or use them as a check dam.
Make sure stormwater is not flowing around the silt fence.