Training for "Citizen Inspectors" for erosion control

Contractor Report conducted training of "Citizen Inspectors" for erosion control at the Ideal Body Shop construction site on Monday July 22, 5:30 pm.

Three new people came to learn the ropes.  Two are residents on the shore of Monona Bay.  Since this construction site drains to the bay only a block away, they came because they want to protect the bay.  Steve Vanko came to show where the stormwater from here empties to the bay.

We kicked off with introductions, then sharing what people wanted to accomplish.  We talked briefly about Chapter 37 of Madison General Ordinances.  It's a good law, but implementation is poor.  Every construction site needs to...

  • Provide perimeter control to retain sediments on the construction site. Silt socks, and sediment fences, are the most common measures.
  • Put filters on the stormsewer inlets downstream.  Filters are often clogged--not well-maintained.
  • Provide construction entrances with tracking pads (to prevent muddy tracks on the street).
  • Provide timely restoration of vegetation within 14 days.
Next, we walked along the public borders of the site to see what controls were installed, and how they were working.  Check this slide set--an inspection of the Ideal Body Shop site, at 502 S. Park St.

We finished up by walking to the bay, to see where stormwater entered the bay.  The whole session took a bit more than an hour.

What citizen inspectors do

  • Checking the site you select about once a week, 
  • Comparing your inspection to the erosion control plan, 
  • Taking photos and uploading them to the web, and 
  • Most important: Visiting during (or shortly after rain), to see how the controls work, and if there's a muddy plume in the nearby lake.
Being an inspector is informative--both about erosion control, and how agencies work.  It can also bring truth to the inspection process... because the contractors always give themselves A+ during self-inspections.

Local studies show-- 19% of the phosphorus in our lakes comes from construction sites.

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