Construction Site Runoff Control

Construction Site Runoff Control Forms

SWPPP Plan Review Checklist
Self Inspection Form
IDEM Rule 5 Notice of Intent
IDEM Rule 5 Notice of Termination
Why is construction site runoff control necessary?
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s “Indiana Storm Water Quality Manual”, sediment is the number one water quality pollutant by volume in Indiana.  As erosion causes off-site sedimentation, it can lead to damage in numerous ways.  Sediment deposition in storm sewers can reduce their efficiency and capacity, thereby causing flooding. As sediment is deposited in stream channels, it decreases the channel’s capacity.  This can also lead to flooding, as well as increase the possibility of erosion and scour on the banks of the stream.  Sediment caused by soil erosion can also accumulate in lakes, resulting in a decrease in lake depth.  This negatively affects the recreational value of a lake, the aesthetic value of a lake, and degrades water quality and can lead to algae growth as shown in the photos below.  Sediment accumulation can also adversely affect fish and wildlife habitat. 
Pond Sedimentation
Reduced pond depth and degradation of
water quality due to sedimentation
Pond ExcavationSignificant excavation was required in order
to reestablish proper depth of pond

Due to the nature of land development, it is a leading cause of off-site sedimentation.  As vegetative cover is removed from a site during construction activities, erosion and sedimentation can take place if the construction activities are not managed properly.  In order to attempt to reduce these erosion and sedimentation problems, regulations that require storm water pollution prevention plans have been established by the State of Indiana.  These plans are mandated by applicable sections of 327 IAC 15-5 and 327 IAC 15-13.

As a result of the regulations stated in 327 IAC 15-5 and 15-13, Vanderburgh County was required to develop local ordinances that necessitate the preparation of erosion control plans for construction sites.   Section 13.05 of the Vanderburgh County Code provides these erosion control plan requirements.  This ordinance establishes the procedures for preparing, reviewing, and implementing erosion control plans for construction sites.  These regulations have established the Vanderburgh County Engineering Department as the review agency for sites requiring these erosion control plans.  When these plans are reviewed, they are compared to the erosion control plan review checklist provided above.  Any questions regarding the plan review and approval process should be directed to Randy Gerth at 812-435-5773 or rjgerth@vanderburghgov.org.

The preparation of a storm water pollution prevention plan also requires filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  Once a project has been completed, a Notice of Termination (NOT) must also be filed with IDEM.  These two forms are provided above.  Additional information about these forms and other storm water requirements can be found at the IDEM Construction/Land Disturbance Permitting page.

Erosion Control Plan Implementation

Proper implementation and maintenance of the erosion control measures called for in erosion control plans can reduce the chances that sedimentation will cause any flooding and/or water quality problems near a construction site.  However, installing and maintaining erosion control measures can also reduce construction costs by preventing both on-site and off-site damage during construction.  Examples of sites requiring reconstruction work due to failed, inadequate, or omitted erosion control measures are shown in the following photos.

swaleThis grass lined drainage swale was properly constructed and was
in a stable condition.  Due to the lack of erosion control measures,
the swale will require additional grading and seeding work in order
to remove the sediment that accumulated in the swale.
  Failed Erosion Control
Due to inadequate and/or failed erosion control measures, regrading
of the construction site was required, as well as a significant amount
of off-site cleanup.
  improper maintenance
Improper installation and maintenance of erosion control measures
allowing sediment to leave this site.

 sediment in cul-de-sac
Failed erosion control measures resulted in the need to
clean the street and storm sewer system

These are just some examples where failed or inadequate erosion control measures increased the cost of completing construction projects.  While there is a cost associated with the installation and maintenance of erosion control measures, proper installation and maintenance can prevent additional reconstruction and/or cleanup costs associated with sedimentation problems.  The proper installation and maintenance can also prevent any fines from and local or state agency that oversees erosion control measures on active construction sites.

Site operators are required to perform their own site inspections and provide a written evaluation of their project site by the end of the next business day following a measurable rain event, and at a minimum of one time per week.  The site operators should use the form provided above in order to document their site inspections.  

The inspections of ongoing construction sites are completed locally by the Vanderburgh County Engineering Department.  Any questions regarding inspections, or any requests for inspections due to failed erosion control measures, should be directed to Randy Gerth at 812-435-5773 or rjgerth@vanderburghgov.org.