Alabama Handbook for Erosion Control, Sediment Control and Stormwater Management on Construction Sites and Urban Areas

Field Guide for Construction Sites in Alabama, August 2004


Form 498 NPDES Construction, Noncoal mining less than 5 acres, other land disturbance activities application form.
Form 499 NPDES Construction, Noncoal mining less than 5 acres stormwater registration termination request and certification form.
Form 500 NPDES Construction and Noncoal mining less than 5 acres stormwater inspection report and BMP certification form.
Form 501 NPDES Construction and Noncoal mining less than 5 acres stormwater noncompliance notification report form.
Form 466 Transfer Agreement Form
ADEM Construction Best Management Practices Plan (CBMPP) Instructions

Site Preparation

    • Construction Exit Pad (CEP)

CEP pdf page 1
CEP pdf page 2
A construction pad is a stone base pad designed to provide a buffer area where mud and caked soil can be removed from the tires of construction vehicles to avoid transporting it onto public roads. This practice applies anywhere traffic will be leaving a construction site and moving directly onto a public road or street.

    • Land Grading (LG)

Land grading is reshaping of the ground surface to provide suitable topography for buildings, facilities and other land uses, to control surface runoff, and to minimize soil erosion and sedimentation both during and after construction.

    • Topsoiling (TSG)

Topsoiling is the removal of a desirable soil surface, referred to as topsoil, at a site prior to construction and using it on areas to be vegetated.

Surface Stabilization

    • Chemical Stabilization (CHS)

Chemical erosion control on construction sites in the Southeast usually involves a water-soluble anionic polyacrylamide product referred to as PAM. It is used to minimize soil erosion caused by water and wind.

    • Dune Sand Fence (DSF)

A dune sand fence is a temporary barrier consisting of wooden slots installed across a dune landscape perpendicular to the prevailing wind.

    • Dune Vegetation Planting (DVP)

Dune vegetation planting is the establishment of perennial vegetation on dunes from seed or vegetative material.

    • Dune Walkover (DW)

A dune walkover is a measure consisting of elevated walks that are constructed across the dune system.

    • Dust Control (DC)

DC pdf
Dust control includes a wide range of techniques that prevent or reduce movement of wind-borne soil particles (dust) during land disturbing activities

    • Erosion Control Blanket (ECB)

ECB pdf (Page 1)
ECB pdf (Page 2)
ECB pdf (Page 3)
To aid in controlling erosion on critical areas by providing a protective cover made of straw, jute, wood or other plant fibers; plastic, nylon, paper or cotton. This practice is best utilized on slopes and channels where the erosion hazard is high, and plant growth is likely to be too slow to provide adequate protective cover.

    • Groundskeeping (GK)

Groundskeeping, or “good housekeeping”, describes the various activities and measures, in addition to the specific practices used for erosion and sediment control that are essential during construction for the protection of environmental quality.
Equipment Maintenance Procedures (EMP)
EMP pdf
Solid Waste Management (SWM)
SWM pdf
Washout Area (WA)
WA pdf
Protected Chemical and Materials Storage Area (PSA)
PSA pdf (Page 1)
PSA pdf (Page 2)

    • Mulching (MU)

MU pdf
Mulching is the application of plant residues such as straw or other suitable materials to the soil surface.

    • Permanent Seeding (PS)

PS pdf
Permanent seeding is the establishment of perennial vegetation on disturbed areas from seed.

    • Preservation of Vegetation (PV)

Preservation of vegetation is the avoidance of an area during land disturbing and construction activity to prevent mechanical and other injury to desirable plants in the planned landscape.

    • Retaining Wall (RW)

A retaining wall is a constructed wall used to eliminate steep slopes between areas that have abrupt changes in grade.

    • Shrub, Vine and Groundcover Planting (SVG)

Shrub, vine and groundcover planting is establishing shrubs, vines or groundcover to stabilize soil in areas where establishing grass is difficult and
mowing is not feasible.

    • Sodding (SOD)

SOD pdf
Sodding is the use of a transplanted vegetative cover to provide immediate erosion control in disturbed areas.

    • Temporary Seeding (TS)

TS pdf
Temporary seeding is the establishment of fast-growing annual vegetation from seed on disturbed areas.

    • Tree Planting on Disturbed Areas (TP)

Tree planting on disturbed areas is planting trees on construction sites or other disturbed areas to stabilize the soil.

Runoff Conveyance

    • Check Dam (CD)

A check dam is a small barrier or dam constructed across a swale, drainage ditch or other area of concentrated flow for the purpose of reducing channel erosion.

    • Diversion (DV)

A diversion is a watercourse constructed across a slope consisting of an excavated channel, a compacted ridge or a combination of both.

    • Drop Structure (DS)

A drop structure is an erosion control structure created by construction of a barrier across a drainageway or installing a permanent manufactured product down a slope.

    • Grass Swale (GS)

A grass swale is a natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in suitable vegetation for the stable
conveyance of runoff without causing damage to the channel by erosion.

    • Lined Swale (LS)

A lined swale is a constructed channel with a permanent lining designed to carry concentrated runoff to a stable outlet.

    • Outlet Protection (OP)

This practice is designed to prevent erosion at the outlet of a channel or conduit by reducing the velocity of flow and dissipating the energy.

    • Riprap-lined Swale (RS)

A riprap-lined swale is a natural or constructed channel with an erosion-resistant rock lining designed to carry concentrated runoff to a stable outlet.

    • Subsurface Drains (SD)

A subsurface drain is a perforated pipe or continuous layer of porous material installed below the ground surface that intercepts, collects and carries excessive groundwater to a stable outlet.

    • Temporary Slope Drain (TSD)

A temporary slope drain is a pipe or other conduit designed to convey concentrated runoff down the face of a cut or fill slope without causing erosion.

Sediment Control

    • Block and Gravel Inlet Protection (BIP)

Block and gravel inlet protection is a sediment control barrier formed around a storm drain inlet by the use of standard concrete block and gravel.

    • Brush/Fabric Barrier (BFB)

A brush/fabric barrier is a dam-like structure constructed from woody residue and faced with a geotextile fabric to provide a temporary sediment basin.

    • Fabric Drop Inlet Protection (FIP)

Fabric drop inlet protection is a structurally supported geotextile barrier placed around or over a drop inlet to prevent sediment from entering storm drains during construction.

    • Filter Strip (FS)

FS pdf
A filter strip is a wide belt of vegetation designed to provide infiltration, intercept sediment and other pollutants, and reduce stormwater flow and velocity.

    • Floating Turbidity Barrier (FB)

A floating turbidity barrier consists of geotextile material (curtain) with floats on the top, weights on the bottom, and an anchorage system that minimizes sediment transport from a disturbed area that is adjacent to or within a body of water.

    • Rock Filter Dam (RD)

A rock filter dam is a stone embankment designed to help capture sediment in natural or constructed drainageways on construction sites.

    • Sediment Barrier (SB)

A sediment barrier is a temporary structure used across a landscape to reduce the quantity of sediment that is moving farther downslope.

    • Sediment Basin (SBN)

An earthen embankment suitably located to capture runoff, with an emergency
spillway lined to prevent spillway erosion, interior porous baffles to reduce turbulence and evenly distribute flows, and equipped with a floating skimmer for dewatering.

    • Straw Bale Sediment Trap (SST)

A straw bale sediment trap is a temporary catch basin consisting of a row or more of entrenched and anchored straw bales.

Stormwater Management

    • Bioretention Area (BA)

A bioretention area is a shallow, vegetated depression incorporated into a development’s landscape.

    • Porous Pavement (PP)

Porous pavement is a permeable load-bearing layer that reduces runoff by providing infiltration, and can be underlain by a stone reservoir for stormwater storage.

    • Stormwater Detention Basin (SDB)

A stormwater detention basin is a dam-basin practice designed to hold stormwater runoff and release the water slowly to prevent downstream flooding and stream erosion.

Stream Protection

    • Buffer Zone (BZ)

A buffer zone is a strip of plants adjacent to land-disturbing sites or bordering streams, lakes, and wetlands which provides streambank stability, reduces scour erosion, reduces storm runoff velocities and filters sediment in stormwater.

    • Channel Stabilization (CS)

Channel stabilization is stabilizing a channel, either natural or artificial, in which water flows with a free surface.

    • Stream Diversion Channel (SDC)

A stream diversion channel is a temporary practice to convey stream flow in an environmentally safe manner around or through a construction site while a
permanent structure or conveyance is being installed in the stream channel.

    • Streambank Protection (SP)

Streambank protection is the stabilization of the side slopes of a stream. Streambank protection can be vegetative, structural or a combined method
(bioengineering) where live plant materials are incorporated into a structure.

    • Temporary Stream Crossing (TSC)

A temporary stream crossing is a short term road crossing constructed over a stream for use by construction traffic to prevent turbidity and streambed
disturbance caused by traffic.