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  • Jodi Eberhardt

Conscientious Construction

Building a home and establishing a lawn to the water’s edge can cause seven times

the amount of phosphorus and 18 times the amount of sediment to enter the water compared to a natural shoreline.

Natural vegetation will naturally reduce runoff by holding back the water to provide time

for it to soak into the ground.

• When clearing your lot, minimize the removal of wooded areas, trees and low growing

shrubs. Their removal causes more rain to fall to the ground instead of landing on

leaves and branches.

• Grading large areas of land removes the natural depressions of land where water can

pond and soak in.

• Carefully landscape your yard near roads, driveways, and along the shoreline to direct

runoff away from the lake.

To reduce runoff during construction projects, erosion and sediment containment is

required. Follow these temporary practices to reduce construction runoff.

• Seed exposed areas with annual grass or mulch during long-term projects where

soils will be exposed for more than a couple of weeks; for small areas of dirt piles,

cover with plastic or a tarp.

• For large exposed stockpiles close to a ditch, stream, wetland or lake, build a berm

or install a silt fence to prevent sediment runoff. Berms are typically built about 3 feet

tall at the crest and 1.5 to 2 times the height in width. Stockpile material can be used

to build the berm; then stabilize it with shredded mulch.

• Install down slope perimeter control prior to soil disturbance. A silt fence installed to

manufacturer’s specifications or a stabilized top soil berm are two options.

Have an erosion control plan and carefully monitor all construction or renovation projects

to ensure that soil and construction materials do not runoff the exposed soils.

• Properly dispose of all construction materials each day.

• Use nontoxic, biodegradable or recycled materials.

• Wash or clean any liquid materials in-doors or directly into a container.

• Install silt fences along the shoreland to capture any sediment runoff that might occur.

• After construction, establish vegetation right away.

• Minimize land alteration around your construction projects to take advantage of

existing soil stability.

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