Thursday, November 4, 2010

Storm Drain Filter Made From Groundcloth - Innovations On-Site

The photo below was taken along a road in Jacksonville, Florida where the contractor had installed a new water supply line.

During construction the existing sidewalk and asphalt road edge were excavated, along with dirt from the water supply line trench.

After the new supply line was installed, the dirt, rock and debris covered the surface.

Normally a contractor would plant rye-grass, clover or some other fast-growing cover crop to prevent erosion and stabilize the ground.

Apparently the surface stabilization did not occur as vegetation was not present.  However it may have been unsuccessfully attempted as the area is in the middle of a five week drought and with zero irrigation available the seeds may not have sprouted.  Sod was not installed.

The area is important as it lies adjacent the St. Johns River.  Any discharge of silt and trash to the storm sewer would be a direct discharge to either a tributary to or the St. John's River itself.

The contractor deserves credit though for an innovative approach to erosion prevention.

Protecting Stormwater Drains from Pollution
Granted the drain appears to be on the verge of becoming overwhelmed with siltation and gravel, but as I looked into the cover, the fabric - the ground cover was a heavier weight allowing for water to run through while preventing trash from entering the sewer system - the fabric was still intact.

There are obvious disadvantages to this system.

However first of all, the fabric is doing what it was intended to do - keep debris and silt out of the stormwater system.

Yet it may be overwhelmed with the volume of silt.

How strong is the fabric and how long will it last?

If the fabric is strong enough to hold up during a heavy rain, will it clog and back up, causing a potential safety hazard with ponding in the road?

Is the fabric a better and safer approach than say an Erosion Eel or other type of barrier?

We will keep photos posted as rain events occur.

Your comments and thoughts are welcome.


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