Erosion and Sediment Control

Erosion is a natural process, but construction activities such as removing vegetation, disturbing soil, and redirecting drainage can increase the natural rates of erosion. Sediment is the single most common pollutant in rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. Sediments can also damage stormwater facilities such as catch basins, drywells, and swales - increasing the risk of flooding and resulting in costly maintenance for taxpayers.

The purpose of Spokane County’s Erosion and Sediment Control ordinance (9.14.185) is to control soil erosion and sedimentation through the use of temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control practices.

The ordinance (9.14.185) lists four performance standards to keep in mind during land-disturbing activities:

  1. Protection of public roads and stormwater facilities
  2. Proper washout of concrete trucks and equipment
  3. Protection of private properties
  4. Protection of water bodies and wetlands

The Stormwater Management Manual for Eastern Washington contains an exhaustive list of best management practices (BMPs) that can be used to make sure construction projects meet the standards listed above.

Here are some of the most commonly used BMP’s, including instructions for inspections and maintenance:

CESCL Training:

For more information on how to become a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead please visit the Washington State Department of Ecology webpage to view upcoming training opportunities near you.

Who Needs Construction Stormwater Permit Coverage?
Please answer the following questions:

  1. Does your construction project disturb one or more acres of land through clearing, grading, excavating, or stockpiling of fill material? Remember to count the cumulative acreage of the entire project whether in a single or in a multiphase project. This applies even if you are responsible for only a small portion [less than one acre] of the larger project planned over time.
  2. Is there any possibility that stormwater could run off your site during construction and into surface waters or conveyance systems leading to surface waters of the state? In almost every case, the answer to this question is yes.

However, if the topography and location of your site is such that there is no possibility that rainfall or snowmelt could leave the site or enter a waterway, it is likely that you will not need permit coverage. If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, contact the Department of Ecology to determine if you will need a permit. Construction site operators must apply for a permit 60 days prior to discharging stormwater.

If a Construction General Permit is required by The Department of Ecology, you will need a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead (CESCL) to monitor stormwater controls on your construction site. For more information visit Ecology's website.