Building inspectors monitor erosion control


By Nadine Resler
City of Madison

You might be asking yourself what is erosion control and what does it have to do with me? Erosion is the gradual destruction of something by natural forces, such as wind, water or ice.

Erosion is also soil and stone leaving construction sites. Erosion control was something that was never really thought about until recently. There are federal, state and local regulations that are now being enforced. Erosion control is now one of the first components to construction and permitting.

The control of erosion should be important to everyone who fishes, swims, boats, enjoys wildlife, or is concerned about clean drinking water. Nature can move erosion from our construction sites and areas where vegetation is insufficient to hold back soil/sediment or rocks into our waterways and onto neighboring property.

When soil and sediment enter our water systems, many problems can occur. Oils, pesticides and herbicides can be carried with the sediment therefore polluting our waters. Sediment clogs the gills of fish, settles on spawning areas, reduces the penetration of light and therefore the ability of algae and other aquatic plants to photosynthesize. Sediment removal can be costly and large amounts of sediment can cause upstream flooding or change the flow of streams.

In neighborhoods, sediment (soil/mud) can be tracked onto streets, walks and adjacent properties making walking, jogging, cycling and driving difficult and dirty with either mud or dust.

For the above reasons the city enforces the control of erosion in construction sites. Here are a few ways to control erosion: silt fence, silt socks, rock berms swales and fiber mat.

If you see problems with erosion in your neighborhood, please let us know. You can contact us at 266-4551 or visit our website at