Maintain those EPSC measures! The Storm Water Program is monitoring construction sites to ensure that proper measures are installed and maintained to prevent silt laden discharge. If one of our technicians notifies you about a concern or violation, contact your sites EPSC personnel or engineer.

Siltation Effects on Our Waterbodies

Excessive silt causes adverse impacts due to biological alterations, reduced passage in rivers and streams, higher drinking water treatment costs for removing the sediment, and the alteration of water’s physical/chemical properties, resulting in degradation of its quality. This degradation process is known as “siltation”.

Silt is one of the most frequently cited pollutants in Tennessee waterways. The most satisfactory method used to determine if a waterway has been polluted due to siltation has been biological surveys that include habitat assessments. For those streams where loss of biological integrity can be documented, the habitat assessment can determine if this loss is due to excessive silt deposits.

As a comparison, soil loss from pastureland averages 1.5 tons/acre-year, cropland cultivation can lose 20 tons/acre-year, whereas construction activities can result in 150 to 200 tons/acre-year in the stormwater runoff. Therefore, even a minor uncontrolled construction activity can cause major impairment in the receiving waters. Erosion prevention and sediment control BMP’s are the key parameter for successful water quality protection.

Refer to our Regulatory Storm Water Runoff Control: Construction Site Runoff Control Section for guidance.