What is Erosion Sediment Control?

Erosion sediment control is a crucial aspect of construction and land development projects. It involves implementing measures to prevent soil erosion and the movement of sediment from construction sites into nearby water bodies. This is important because sediment runoff can have detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems, water quality, and overall environmental health.

The Importance of Erosion Sediment Control

Effective erosion sediment control is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to protect water quality by preventing sediment from entering rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Sediment can carry pollutants such as chemicals, fertilizers, and construction debris, which can harm aquatic life and contaminate drinking water sources.

Secondly, erosion sediment control measures help to maintain the stability of slopes and embankments. Uncontrolled erosion can lead to slope failures, landslides, and other geotechnical issues, which can pose risks to infrastructure, property, and human safety.

Furthermore, erosion sediment control is often a legal requirement for construction projects. Many jurisdictions have regulations in place that mandate the implementation of erosion control measures to minimize the environmental impact of construction activities.

Common Erosion Sediment Control Techniques

There are various techniques and practices that can be employed to control erosion and sediment runoff. These include:

Silt Fences

Silt fences are temporary barriers made of geotextile fabric that are installed along the perimeter of construction sites. They help to trap sediment-laden runoff, allowing water to flow through while retaining the sediment. Silt fences are commonly used in areas where there is a significant risk of sediment runoff, such as on slopes or near water bodies.

Erosion Control Blankets

Erosion control blankets, also known as erosion control mats or turf reinforcement mats, are materials that are placed on the soil surface to provide temporary protection against erosion. They help to stabilize the soil, prevent the detachment of particles, and promote the establishment of vegetation. Erosion control blankets are often used on slopes, channels, and disturbed areas.


Hydroseeding is a technique that involves spraying a mixture of seed, mulch, fertilizer, and water onto the soil surface. This helps to establish vegetation quickly, which in turn helps to stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. Hydroseeding is commonly used on large areas where traditional seeding methods may be impractical.

Check Dams

Check dams are temporary structures that are placed across channels or swales to slow down the flow of water and trap sediment. They are typically made of rocks, logs, or other materials that allow water to pass through while retaining sediment. Check dams are effective in reducing erosion and sediment transport in areas with concentrated flow.


Erosion sediment control is a critical aspect of construction and land development projects. By implementing effective erosion control measures, we can protect water quality, prevent slope failures, and minimize the environmental impact of construction activities. It is essential for construction professionals to be knowledgeable about erosion sediment control techniques and to ensure compliance with relevant regulations to promote sustainable development.