- Jodi Eberhardt
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.