Construction Site Runoff

Nonpoint source pollution resulting from construction activities has very high localized impacts on water quality. Sediment is the main construction site contaminant, but the stormwater runoff may contain other pollutants such as fertilizers and nutrients, pesticides and insecticides (used at construction sites), petroleum products and construction chemicals (cleaning solvents, paints, asphalt, acids, etc.), and debris. Erosion rates from construction sites may be 10 to 20 times and runoff flow rates can be up to 100 times those from agricultural lands [37]. Some of the pollution control methods that could be used are protection of disturbed areas from rainfall and flowing runoff water, dissipation of the energy of runoff, trapping of transported sediment, and good housekeeping practices to prevent the other pollutants mentioned above from being transported by stormwater runoff. Finally, each construction project should be planned and managed by considering drainage problems and contamination, avoiding critical areas on and adjacent to the construction area, and attempting to minimize impacts on natural drainage systems.

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