Best Erosion Control Practices

Best Erosion Control Practices

With any kind of construction, you are bound to face challenges with controlling erosion and the deposit of sediments. The possibility of erosion is elevated by changes being made to the environment of the site.  Water runoff contributes to the deposit of sediments and increased pollutants. These negative environmental impacts can all be kept at bay if a few Best Management Practices are implemented at the right time. We’ve outlined these best erosion control practices below for your reference.


Consider Unique Site Attributes

First you must carefully assess the site that you are working on, as every site is unique. Everything from the intensity, duration, and frequency of rainfall  needs to be considered, as does the local geography and landscape. Sites that are on a slope or an incline will be more prone to erosion.  The type of soil that the site is on must also be assessed.  If the site is on soil that is very easy to erode, more drastic steps may have to be taken to reduce or stop erosion.


Develop a Project Plan

Once the site has been assessed, you can develop your erosion control plan.   Taking care especially when it comes to the order in which different tasks are carried out.  For instance, if you are carrying out construction over a wide area, you can begin excavating areas of the site in sections.  Systematically move through different areas using a predetermined route, rather than disturbing the whole site.   This will help reduce the amount of land that is left exposed for long periods, thereby decreasing erosion. 

erosion-and-sediment-control best practices

Managing Water Flow

Controlling water on your site will also be very important. The construction of dikes and ditches to control the flow of water is prudent, especially when they are constructed at the top and bottom of slopes and embankments. Constructing temporary slope drains will also help in mitigating the effects of erosion, especially when these are constructed in cut/fill transitions and steep slopes around the site.

Sediment that runs off a construction site can cause damage to the environment if it ends up in the wrong place, especially if it ends up in water ways surrounding the site. This could upset the ecosystem. Constructing silt fences and sediment traps will go a long way to preventing potential damage to the environment during to construction. Sediment controls should be constructed around the perimeter of the site, at the entrances and exits to the site, and at water inlets and outlets.

Managing Water Pollution

Reducing water pollution caused by erosion and sediment should be a high priority on site. This involves ensuring that a construction site near a water way has the proper erosion and sediment controls in place. If there is to be excavation then it is important to prevent erosion and sediment loss.  Prior to the beginning of construction you can put filter sock in place around the edge of the water way. This will protect the water from any heavy sediment run off throughout construction.  

Stabilization of soil, on site, after construction may also be necessary.  One of the best ways to ensure that you maintain good soil stability is by protecting the existing vegetation that is on the site, including trees, shrubs and forbs. Areas where there is no longer any vegetation can be treated with a seeded compost erosion control blanket – controlling erosion and re-vegetating the area in one step.


In order to best address erosion and sediment controls, it is necessary to first, asses your site. Second, you must develop a project plan.  Finally, implement your plan by managing water flow, using  engineered structures and protecting the natural vegetation, thus reducing water pollution.

Overwhelming? We recommend partnering with an Environmental Consultant who is familiar with the Erosion and Sediment Control bylaws in the municipality where the project is located.  eg: City of Surrey bylaws

We hope you find this article helpful.  Please share!


6 replies
  1. Afton Jackson
    Afton Jackson says:

    I didn’t realize controlling water flow can help you reduce sediment run off at construction sites. My sister is having a home built for her family soon. Hopefully, she can use this info to make sure there is no water damage to the foundation.

  2. Alexandria Martinez
    Alexandria Martinez says:

    Erosion control was a new term for me when my brother started talking about it. The way he was talking about it was absolutely fascinating to me so I thought I would learn more. It was cool to read that they manage water pollution among many other things.

  3. Elsa Anderson
    Elsa Anderson says:

    It’s interesting to learn that when constructing having a predetermined path for workers and machinery will help reduce the amount of land that’s left exposed leaving fewer chances for erosion. I love that idea since we are to have a home built near the lakeside in my hometown. Minimizing the chances of erosion will help secure that the land there will last longer and in extension, our new home will too. I’ll talk about it with my contractor and see if there any other services that can be done to help with potential erosion issues too. Thanks!

  4. Vanessa Blair
    Vanessa Blair says:

    My dad lives near a cliff and he wants to make sure that his house is secured. It was discussed here that there are practices that can be done to prevent soil erosion, such as managing the water flow and pollution. Moreover, it’s advisable to go to professionals for advice on erosion control.

  5. Dino Violante
    Dino Violante says:

    I appreciate it when you suggested the construction of slope drains on the area so that the water will be directed elsewhere and does not end up surrounding the worksite. I know how dangerous an erosion can b, so I will share this with my coworkers. Though if they have a better idea of erosion control, then it is also okay for as long as it will deal with the water problem as well. Thanks.

  6. Camille Devaux
    Camille Devaux says:

    It makes sense that part of the erosion control services will be water pollution. Making sure that excavation does not harm this is key. My cousin might like knowing this as she looks into doing construction on her commercial building.


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