Contractors are familiar with the popular adage, “water is the enemy.” Water might seem like a harmless substance, but an overabundance of moisture can have catastrophic results on your project. Whenever you enter a new contract and begin construction, you must be cognizant of the effect that long-term moisture exposure can have on your site location, building materials, and techniques. It’s important to perform an extensive review of your building practices to ensure that rainfall, snowmelt, and mudslides aren’t leading to permanent damage on the owner’s property or any neighboring properties.
As a contractor, you are responsible for preventing excessive erosion and runoff from your project site. Negligent contractors could find themselves embroiled in a costly legal dispute if they fail to maintain an acceptable construction site. In this four-part series, the Nashville construction lawyers from Cotney Construction Law will take an in-depth look at how contractors can reduce erosion and runoff on their construction sites.
What is Erosion?
Erosion is a natural process that occurs when materials are gradually broken down over time, but it is also a product of construction. Unfortunately, when you artificially accelerate erosion, it’s hard for the surrounding environment to adapt. A bulldozer can break down a boulder in minutes or hours. The same boulder could take hundreds or thousands of years to break down through natural erosion.
Why Should Contractors Care About Erosion and Runoff?
The main issue with erosion, as a byproduct of construction processes, is that it leads to damaging sediment runoff. This runoff pollutes storm drains, nearby streams and rivers, as well as other bodies of water. Too much runoff poses a critical threat to the health and safety of your workers, site occupants, neighbors, and even whole communities depending on the amount of runoff produced and the location of the project site.
While the environmental ramifications of erosion and runoff are severe, it’s the legal backlash that will threaten to derail your project and quell your success. Litigation for a failure to employ suitable erosion control methods can be costly and lead to drawn out conflicts with neighboring down-slope property owners. Additionally, you will be assessed fines for violating local building codes.
In parts two and three, our Nashville construction attorneys will discuss types of erosion and the basic principles of erosion control. In part four, we will dive even further into effective methods for controlling erosion.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.