Field Monitoring of Erosion and Sediment Control Practices and Development of Additional Iowa DOT Design Manual Guidance

Construction activities involve heavy earthmoving activities that typically disturb several acres of land. Due to the nature of construction activity, sediment is the predominant pollutant of concern during the clearing and grading stages, which typically exposes large un-vegetated and un-stabilized land areas to erosive elements (USEPA 2005). The lack of ground cover during construction results in land areas being susceptible to increased rates of soil erosion. As storm water runoff flows over unprotected areas on construction sites, it can suspend and transport pollutants causing significant physical, chemical, and biological water quality impacts and impairments to nearby receiving waters (Maxted and Shaver 1998). Furthermore, polluted surface waters can affect operations at water treatment plants, power stations, and other water-handling facilities. Sediment runoff rates from construction sites can be 10 to 20 times higher than those of agricultural lands and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forested lands (USEPA 2009). Construction sites have measured erosion rates of approximately 20 to 200 tons per acre ( 45 to 450 metric tons per ha) per year (Pitt et al. 2007). Sediment emanating from slope and channel erosion are transported into existing storm-water conveyance systems. Other pollutants stemming from construction activities can also be introduced to the local environment through the improper use and disposal of chemicals and hydrocarbons. Erosion and the resulting sedimentation in waterways have become one of the nation's largest water pollution problems. The USEPA identifies sediment along with nutrients and heavy metals, which typically sorb to soil particles, as the most widespread pollutants affecting the beneficial uses of the Nation's rivers and streams (USEPA 1998; 2016). In addition to environmental implications, sedimentation can cause vast economic problems. The loss of aquatic habitat and diminished water quality is often difficult to quantify, however some impacts (i.e., the cost of dredging and disposing of accumulated sediment) are easier to assess. Furthermore, the cost of eroded soil replacement comes at a high price. Eroded sediments may include the loss of soil nutrients necessary for plant growth. This nutrient loss can lead to topsoil replacement actions to satisfy proper vegetative growth (Goldman et al. 1986). The creation of soil is a slow process, therefore better methods and practices for controlling erosion, sedimentation, and other pollutants from construction sites are needed to forestall these problems and meet the demands of increasing growth and development.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $220000
    • Contract Numbers:

      Addendum 654


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Iowa Department of Transportation

      800 Lincoln Way
      Ames, IA  United States  50010
    • Managing Organizations:

      Iowa State University, Ames

      Institute for Transportation
      2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
      Ames, Iowa  United States  50010-8664
    • Project Managers:

      Serio, Melissa

    • Performing Organizations:

      Iowa State University, Ames

      Institute for Transportation
      2711 South Loop Drive, Suite 4700
      Ames, Iowa  United States  50010-8664
    • Principal Investigators:

      Perez, Michael

      Cetin, Bora

    • Start Date: 20180501
    • Expected Completion Date: 20200430
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01668742
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Iowa Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: Addendum 654, 18-SPR1-001
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: May 8 2018 4:23PM