Erosion and sediment controls on construction sites minimize environmental impacts from sediment-laden stormwater runoff. Silt fence, a widely specified perimeter control practice on construction projects used to retain sediment on-site, has limited performance-based testing data. Silt fence failures and resultant sediment losses are often the result of structural failure. To better understand silt fence performance, researchers at the Auburn University-Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility (AU-ESCTF) have evaluated three silt fence options to determine possible shortcomings using standardized full-scale testing methods. These methods subject silt fence practices to simulated, in-field conditions typically experienced on-site without the variability of field testing or the limited application of small-scale testing. Three different silt fence practices were tested to evaluate performance, which included: (1) Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Trenched Silt Fence, (2) ALDOT Sliced Silt Fence, and (3) Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee (AL-SWCC) Trenched Silt Fence. This study indicates that the structural performance of a silt fence perimeter control is the most important performance factor in retaining sediment. The sediment retention performance of these silt fence practices was 82.7%, 66.9% and 90.5%, respectively. When exposed to large impoundment conditions, both ALDOT Trench and Sliced Silt Fence practices failed structurally, while the AL-SWCC Trenched Silt Fence did not experience structural failure.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael-perez/2/