How can you plan for the rainy season? It’s getting towards the end of September, and Fall is now HERE. We want to get our clients thinking about preparing for the rainy season. In this two-part series (see Part 1 here) we will talk about how you can get your site ready for rain.
As of the time we wrote this post, it looks like we have a small rain event coming in the next week or so. It’s good to start now, and start the season on the right foot. Remember to use NOAA.gov for all of your weather-reporting needs (https://www.noaa.gov/).
Check out our Part II Winterization tips below…
Put chemicals (paint, fuel, concrete cure, solvent, etc), cement bags and erodible items either in Connex containers or in covered secondary containment.
Elevate materials onto pallets to keep off of the ground. Move materials out of stormwater flow lines.
Prepare and implement a winterization plan in advance of the rainy season start (usually Oct 15)
Plan for temporary soil stabilization such as blanket, temporary hydraulic mulch, plastic cover, etc.
Implement an effective combination of erosion and sediment controls, not just one type of BMP, but multiple levels of protection (e.g. mulch on slopes along with fiber roll on parallel contours and at the toe of slopes)
Get as many areas permanently stabilized as possible. Only have open small areas that can easily be protected in less than a few hours when quick storms come in.
Cover stockpiles and surround them with linear sediment barriers such as fiber roll. Remove as many stockpiles as possible.
Clean inlets and make sure all inlets are protected.
Have stabilized construction entrances in place for ingress and egress to dirt areas and staging areas.
Cover washouts and waste bins. Properly dispose of construction debris or put waste into leak proof and covered bins.
Pick up cement waste. Clean up any oil or fuel leaks.
Divert stormwater run-on around work areas.
Make sure new inlets and culverts are installed and functional if a new system is in the middle of being worked on; stormwater will find the path of least resistance and go where you don’t want it to if not properly managed.
Make sure perimeter controls such as silt fence and fiber roll are in place around staging areas and disturbed soil areas. Make sure any check dams are clean and functional.
Add temporary dike or gravel bag berms around the top of disturbed slopes to keep runoff away from them. High velocity stormwater can ruin new slopes.
Protect all slopes with plastic, blanket or a combination of fiber roll and hydraulic mulch or hydroseeding. Make temporary overside drains out of plastic if permanent overside drains are not yet able to be constructed.
Cover Asphalt Cold Mix and make sure piles are placed on impermeable surfacing or plastic.
Apply permanent hydroseed by mid October if possible. Seed needs a combination of rain and warm sun to germinate. If applied too late in Fall or Winter, hydroseeding can fail if it gets too cold to germinate.
Pick the right type of grass for your area or site conditions. Some grasses can do better in drought conditions than others or germinate at different times of the year. Add soil amendments for inert soil.
Call Erosion Control Subs in advance to get on their calendar before they get booked up.
Have Extra BMPs on hand that can be deployed quickly in case of emergency such as extra gravel bags, wattle, plastic, jute mesh, and blanket.
Plan for a rainy season lasting as long as mid October to mid April. Discuss potential winter job site suspensions with owners who may have un-realistic contract deadlines.
Wet winters can make major grading difficult and more expensive; contractors have to stop work and button up the site sometimes multiple times.
Attempting major grading in winter can also lead to erosion and environmental issues.
Expect the unexpected. Storms now are more unpredictable than ever; they are more extreme, sometimes not occurring for weeks or months then showing up unexpectedly and dumping massive amounts of water or dissipating or occurring with just a few hours notice.
DON’T WAIT – PLAN AHEAD!