Abstract: Golf course construction managers should install erosion controls before starting projects. This post will discuss erosion control materials and installation techniques.
If you’re involved in a new golf course project you will need to install erosion control before commencing work. Erosion controls are barriers that intercept the flow of fine sediment and debris into protected wetland areas. Engineers and environmentalists require erosion controls because they provide a relatively cheap protection to wetland and waterways.
Before starting a project, ask about erosion control. If you don’t ask, and you introduce silt into a protected wetland, you may end up on the front page, or worse, in a cold jail cell. Environmental regulators are serious about erosion controls, and you must play by their rules.
Many construction plans include erosion control details. Environmental permitting requires this information. In the Northeast, we typically see the line delineated on the construction drawings. A detail sheet will show how to install hay bales and/or silt fence.
The engineer should paint out the erosion control line. This saves moving the line later because it is improperly located. Install the silt fence first, being careful to dig a few inch trench to “key in” the bottom of the silt fence. I’ve successfully used a small trencher for this work. Back the hay bales to the silt fence, and install two stakes in each hay bale.
I find hay bales on the Internet. Websites like hayexchange.com or craigslist work well. Try to purchase hay mulch; it’s much cheaper that expensive horse hay. Silt fence and stakes can be found online.
When bidding an erosion control detail, don’t forget the cost to maintain the silt fence and hay bales. Erosion control is designed to absorb water and silt, but a heavy rain can easily blow out a silt barrier, making you responsible for a new silt barrier and removal, by hand, of any fines that migrated into a wetland. Removal and disposal costs should be added.
Other erosion controls include silt dams; hay bales installed in construction trench that intercept silt before it enters a wetland or stream. Some engineers require the use of silt bags on the discharge end of trash pumps. I’m now working on a site that requires construction of a round installation of hay bales and crushed stone. We’ll pump our trench water into this detail.
Silt sock is netting stuffed with much. It’s made like a sausage; long lengths of stretchable tubular netting is attached to a hopper-like machine that mounts on a skid-steer. After mulch is fed into the hopper, worm gears force the mulch into the netting. It’s easier to handle than hay bales and small animals can crawl over it. The cost is the same as silt fence and hay bales.
Erosion control is serious business. Show enthusiasm when discussing this subject with your construction manager or regulator. If you enforce erosion controls specifications, you’ll have a successful relationship with everyone who matters.