General Construction

Best Management Practices For:

General Contractors, Construction Inspectors, Home Builders, Developers, Masons & Bricklayers, and Construction Workers

The two most common sources of stormwater pollution problems associated with construction activities are erosion and sedimentation. Failure to maintain adequate erosion and sediment controls at construction sites often results in sediment discharges into the storm drain system, creating multiple problems once it enters local waterways. Construction vehicles and heavy equipment can also track significant amounts of mud and sediment onto adjacent streets. Additionally, wind may transport construction materials and wastes into streets, storm drains, or directly into our local waterways. As a contractor, site supervisor, owner or operator of a site, you may be held responsible for the environmental damage caused by your subcontractors or employees. Following these construction BMPs will enable your company to reduce stormwater pollution.

Begin Advanced Planning to Prevent Pollution

  • Remove existing vegetation only as needed.
  • Schedule excavation, grading, and paving operations for dry weather periods, if possible.
  • Store materials and equipment well away from storm drain inlets and curbs.
  • Develop and implement an effective combination of erosion and sediment controls for the construction site.
  • Practice source reduction by ordering only the amount of materials that are needed to finish the project.
  • Educate your employees and subcontractors about stormwater management requirements and their pollution prevention responsibilities.
  • Control the amount of surface runoff at the construction site by impeding internally generated flows and using berms or drainage ditches to direct incoming off site flows to go around the site. NOTE: Consult local drainage policies for more information.

Implement Best Management Practices

The following BMPs can help reduce pollutant discharges from your construction site. Compliance with stormwater regulations can be as simple as minimizing stormwater contact with potential pollutants by providing covers and secondary containment for construction materials and implementing good housekeeping practices at the construction site.

  • Protect all storm drain inlets and streams located near the construction site to prevent sediment-laden water from entering the storm drain system.
  • Limit access to and from the site. Stabilize construction entrances/exits to minimize the track out of dirt and mud onto adjacent streets. Conduct frequent street sweeping.
  • Protect stockpiles and construction materials from winds and rain by storing them under a roof, secured impermeable tarp or plastic sheeting.
  • Construct detention/retention structures or ponds at key outfall areas to capture rainwater and allow it to percolate into the ground rather than drain from the site.
  • Phase grading operations to limit disturbed areas and duration of exposure.
  • Perform major maintenance and repairs of vehicles and equipment off site.
  • Wash out concrete mixers only in designated washout areas at the construction site.
  • Setup and operate small concrete mixers on tarps or heavy plastic drop cloths.
  • Keep construction sites clean by removing trash, debris, wastes, etc. on a regular basis.
  • Clean up spills immediately using dry clean up methods (e.g., absorbent materials such as cat litter, sand or rags for liquid spills; sweeping for dry spills such as cement, mortar or fertilizer) on hard surfaces or by removing the contaminated soil in dirt areas.
  • Prevent erosion by implementing any or a combination of soil stabilization practices such as mulching, surface roughening, and temporary silt fencing.
  • Maintain all vehicles and equipment in good working condition. Inspect frequently for leaks, and repair promptly.
  • Practice proper waste disposal. Many construction materials and wastes, including solvents, water-based paint, vehicle fluids, broken asphalt and concrete, wood, and cleared vegetation can be recycled. Materials that cannot be recycled must be taken to an appropriate landfill or disposed of as hazardous waste.
  • Cover open dumpsters with secured tarps or plastic sheeting. Never clean out a dumpster by washing it down on the construction site.
  • Have dumpsters regularly emptied so they do not overflow.
  • Examples of Construction BMP Implementation

Obtain a General Construction Activities Stormwater Permit

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) adopted the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activity (NVR100000). The General Permit for Construction Activity establishes a number of stormwater management requirements for construction site owners and operators over 1 acre. This permit is administered and enforced by the NDEP, with cooperation from local municipalities that have their own ordinances controlling discharges to the drainage system.

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