Cost effective erosion and sediment control
In the fall of 2006, the Chicago area received several back-to-back 1-2" rainfalls over several months that overwhelmed waterways and just about every type of storm water runoff control structure. With saturated soils and waterways over flowing their banks, many developers and municipalities faced a number of NPDES noncompliance issues and potentially escalating costs. With any system, when you push it to its maximum capabilities you quickly find the weakest links.
One developer in the southern metro area found out the hard way, "By bidding out various segments of our environmental control projects - silt fencing, detention basins/ponds, and other site work such as retaining walls and bridges - on an individual basis, we thought we were getting the most bang for the buck while meeting NPDES regulations."
The problem was that the timing and coordination of these independent projects and contractors left gaps in environmental systems that failed during repeated storms.
"With our controls being pushed to the max by such a wet fall," he went on to add, "we were faced with problems in our retention ponds, erosion structures, and suddenly we had a long list of remedial actions that we had to immediately address to try and avoid fines from the Illinois EPA after a surprise inspection."
All of the erosion and water control rework added up to well over $100,000 in unanticipated costs.
"As we have worked with Emerald (after the fact) to integrate erosion and sedimentation controls into a more unified system, we found that doing the right things at the right time could have saved us a lot of headaches and money! It's the difference between managing site environmental issues as an expense or managing it as a strategic cost of quality."