Sedimentation can have harmful effects on our ecosystem. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states the following, “Sediment in stream beds disrupts the natural food chain by destroying the habitat where the smallest stream organisms live and causing massive declines in fish populations.”. There are many other physical effects that can occur from sedimentation. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) provides a course through various authorized trainers, called the Florida Stormwater Erosion and Sedimentation Control Inspector certification (FSESCI). Why is this certification offered and why is it so important?
The FSESCI certification provides a vehicle for individuals to become a qualified erosion and sediment control inspectors. This certification educates a person to have the skills to fully understand the many Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can potentially be deployed to help control erosion and sedimentation on a construction site. The certification program additionally provides the person with the right education on how BMPs are installed and how to appropriately consult with construction site operators on corrective actions in maintain BMPs functional benefit. A certified stormwater compliance inspector is an expert at stormwater, erosion, and sedimentation control, and understands properly how to select, install, and maintain BMPs.
It is extremely challenging for construction sites to prevent erosion and sediment from leaving their site that can enter adjacent lakes, rivers, and ponds through construction activities. Controlling erosion and sedimentation is important. When the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was created as part of the Clean Water Act, the main goal was to protect water quality through minimizing pollution from construction sites and industrial facilities.
The definition of sedimentation is the settling out of soil either by wind, water or gravity and then potentially deposited in undesirable locations. There are many detrimental effects from sedimentation such as damage to aquatic areas, a navigable river may become obstructed, and sedimentation can increase the potential of flooding. For a construction project, sedimentation can clog storm drains conveyance systems, obstruct inlets, and sediment deposited on local roadways can create a dangerous and potentially hazardous situation. If erosion and sediment controls are not properly maintained, costly maintenance and fines may be encountered that can dramatically affect the bottom line for a construction project.