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Sediment and Erosion Control

One of the biggest impacts on our nation's streams is poorly maintained construction sites. Erosion Pollutants such as sediment, debris, oils, gasoline, asphalt degreasers, concrete products, sealers and paints are picked up as stormwater flows over construction sites.  The stormwater runoff then enters a drainage system and is dumped directly into a local water body.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) erosion from a construction site can range from 7.2 to 500 tons/acre/year compared to undisturbed forestlands with less than 1 ton/acre/year.


Sediment from construction sites can build up in streams lowering flow capacity, which leads to more frequent flooding.  Uncontrolled erosion also has a huge financial impact on a construction project due to the time and money required to replace vegetation or clean sediment-clogged storm drains. However, following Best Management Practices (BMPs), damage to other people’s property or natural resources can be reduced or avoided.


The "South Carolina NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Large and Small Construction Activities" requires the development of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).  A Notice of Intent (NOI) that includes the SWPPP and identifies sediment and erosion controls and details for operation, maintenance and inspection procedures must be included with the NOI.  More information about the NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Large and Small Construction Activities can be found on the SCDHEC website at


Elements of Good Sediment and Erosion Control