Construction Site Runoff Control

Why Is The Control of Construction Site Runoff Necessary?

Polluted stormwater runoff from construction sites ultimately is discharged into our rivers and streams.

Of the pollutants, sediment is usually the main pollutant of concern.

National Water Quality Inventory

According to the 2000 National Water Quality Inventory, States and Tribes report that sedimentation is one of the most widespread pollutants affecting assessed rivers and streams, second only to pathogens (bacteria).

Sedimentation impairs 84,503 river and stream miles (12% of the assessed river and stream miles and 31% of the impaired river and stream miles). Sources of sedimentation include agriculture, urban runoff, construction, and forestry.

Construction Site Runoff

Sediment runoff rates from construction sites, however, are typically 10 to 20 times greater than those of agricultural lands, and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forest lands. During a short period of time, construction sites can contribute more sediment to streams than can be deposited naturally during several decades.

The resulting siltation, and the contribution of other pollutants from construction sites, can cause physical, chemical, and biological harm to our nation’s waters.

For example, excess sediment can quickly fill rivers and lakes, requiring dredging and destroying aquatic habitats.

Common Pollutants

Pollutants Commonly Discharged from Construction Sites Include:

  • Concrete truck washout
  • Construction chemicals
  • Construction debris
  • Nitrogen (fertilizer)
  • Oil and grease
  • Pesticides
  • Phosphorous (fertilizer)
  • Sediment
  • Solid and sanitary wastes