The Most Important SWPPP BMP
While presenting at our local SWPPP Training courses, I always ask the question, “What is the most important Best Management Practice (BMP) in our industry to keep a job site out of trouble?”
While there isn’t a single definitive answer, the idea of something as minute as a properly installed Stabilized Construction Exit (SCE) is always brought up. It is the one and only thing that stands in between every vehicle leaving a site and the public Right-of-Way. Not only can tons (yes, literally tons) of sediment leave the site from a SCE, it is also one of the most visible things to both the public and any Code Enforcement Agent. It is the first thing seen from the street when entering a site and sediment tracking can potentially be seen miles down the road.
Could you imagine walking up to the most elegant and prestigious restaurant in town to find a run-down cockroach infested façade? Would you still go inside and give fair judgement to the whole dining experience, or would your first impression last throughout the evening?
My point is that even the most manicured site in town with documentation written by the gods will still always bring negative attention if the first and most visible BMP is not properly installed or maintained daily.
There are many questions to ask before creating a SCE solution for each individual site. Anyone that has ever worked construction in the bayou city knows all too well about our infamous black gumbo clay and the nuisance it causes by sticking to everything it touches. When deciding what type of SCE to implement, ask yourself, “What type of soil is on site? Where is the exit located? How many vehicles will be leaving on any given hour? Who is the owner and what is their overall accountability for SWPPP? And I really hate to ask this last one, but how much is the violation going to ultimately cost if not done properly?”
What works for one site might not be the same solution as the site just 15 minutes down the road. This could be the difference in a minimum of a 25’x50’ exit with underlayment and 3”x5” aggregate, or the other extreme of an automated truck wash System with sediment traps.
There is no getting away from it and no cheap solution to ensuring sediment removal from work trucks as they exit the site. Make sure you do your research, create a custom solution, and most importantly, keep your owners informed.