As a contractor, you’re tasked with ensuring that workers are trained, timelines are followed, and budgets are reasonable. With a severe labor shortage looming in the back of your mind, and a new project popping up on the horizon, the last thing you want to think about is how erosion on your construction site could lead to dangerous runoff.
Nonetheless, ignoring this vital issue could result in costly litigation and a trip to meet with a Nashville contractor lawyer. In part one, our Nashville contractor lawyers introduced erosion and runoff. Now, we will examine two types of erosion that commonly occur on construction sites: wind erosion and water erosion.
The Erosion Process
Erosion is a multi-phase process that slowly eats away at the earth. Typically, erosion starts on the outer layer of a physical object. As wind and water begin to erode the surface, they expose holes and caverns that allow these forces to enter the earth and weaken the structural integrity from the inside too. The resulting sediment combines with water to become runoff.
On a construction site, you break down earth or existing structures throughout the project timeline. Runoff from fractured earth can be damaging, but runoff from a demolished structure can be fatal. If you fail to carefully manage your site’s runoff from the beginning, the problem will compound over time making it difficult to fix later in your project timeline.
Wind erosion occurs on the surface of the earth, particularly when the earth is dry. One commonly cited example of wind erosion is sand dunes. These dramatic geographic features showcase how wind can be a powerful influencer in the shaping of our earth. Once a surface has been eroded by wind, it becomes more susceptible to water erosion. If you construction site is barraged by high-speed winds, you may want to consider contacting a Nashville contractor attorney and temporarily suspending operations.
Water erosion starts on the surface and permeates deeper and deeper into the earth through time. Initially, water settles in the first layer of soil and vegetation, eventually washing it away until the topsoil is entirely removed. Ultimately, this water will travel into longer, deeper sections of earth until runoff is produced. Runoff from water erosion can lead to deep, wide areas of stream and channel erosion. This commonly results in thousand of pounds of displaced earth being improperly deposited into inappropriate areas.
On the construction site, the effects of wind and water erosion are enhanced by human intervention and construction practices. In part three, we will discuss the six basic principles of erosion control before wrapping up in part four.
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.