Soil erosion and sedimentation are major contributors to pollution in our waterways. When rain falls on exposed soil, it washes soil away from the land. Runoff erodes bare ground, washes away valuable topsoil, and makes landscaping more difficult. It also carries nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants into streets, gutters, and ditches, where it then travels untreated to lakes, rivers, streams, or wetlands. Polluted runoff causes excessive growth of lake weeds, algae blooms, and reduced recreational opportunities such as swimming and fishing. Sediment-laden runoff clogs pipes, ponds, lakes, and wetlands and increases the risk of flooding.
During home construction, verify that your builder has installed temporary stabilization measures to minimize erosion and prevent sediment-laden runoff from leaving your property. Sediment control measures should be in-place on the down slope perimeter and near gutters, ditches, and all surface water and wetlands. Mulch, erosion control blanket, or similar materials must cover exposed soil.
Establish permanent vegetation or ground cover as soon as possible. With proper planning, it may be possible to skip many temporary stabilization measures by installing permanent stabilization measures right away. Mulch, silt fences, downspout extenders, or other temporary stabilization measures can be removed following permanent stabilization.
For more information on erosion control, visit the Minnesota Erosion Control Association or check out New Homeowner’s Guide to Erosion and Sediment Control.