There are three major issues that every construction site faces when working with water safety. These are regulated by most communities as well as the Environmental Protection Agency. To protect the water supply surrounding a construction site, measure must be taken to control contaminated wastewater runoff, sediment control, and erosion control. Each of these can be harmful to the environment.
Contaminated runoff control
There are many chemical substances that can enter the waste water runoff coming from an active construction site.
These may include:
- motor oil (from heavy machinery that may leak)
- paint thinners
- or other noxious chemicals.
These spill should be cleaned up and the contaminated soil properly disposed of immediately by a trained construction worker following already established HAZ-MAT guidelines. If these chemicals enter the water that runs off of the site, the result can be contamination of the water supply for the community at large and/or kill plants or animals living in or around the streams, rivers, lakes, etc.
When grading of a site occurs, the underlying and newly exposed layers of soil are especially prone to be carried away with any water that passes over the surface. In wet months or rainy climates, this is of a greater concern. Sediment can change the dynamics of the neighboring streams, rivers and lakes and can harm the flow of water over time. These artificial sedimentary dams can be quite harmful to the environment as a whole and care should be taken to protect newly graded land from being washed away, especially during rainy seasons when excessive water runoff can wreck havoc on the drainage. Street flooding around construction sites can be caused by improper preventative measures being taken or an inlet filter system that is not being properly maintained.
Along with the problem of water carrying excess sediment, causing damming or changing the face of the water system, the opposite can occur. Construction grading activities and a rainstorm can cause the newly graded soil to erode. This could potentially cause a need for added fill dirt or re-grading the soil.
Each of these activities are inter-related in their eventual effects on the environment and each can be addressed using a very effective tool, an inlet filter, which will filter sediment, can control and contain contaminant chemicals and collect debris from runoff that naturally happens at a construction site. These filters are cost effective solutions to a significant problem for active construction sites.
Safety CSM is a provider of Safe Pass Training. So if you or your employees or contractors require a Safe Pass card then contact us for our training schedule and class prices.