The sight of rain on a construction site has become a lot more common in recent years with the average rainfall all over the world increasing. Storms have also become more unpredictable in their nature. Therefore, even the best weather report can’t always prepare you for unexpected rainfall on your construction site. If you are on a construction site, stormwater runoff can be one of the worst inconveniences your construction team experiences.
While heavy rain could mean that the construction project must come to a standstill, stormwater runoff on a construction site can have more severe consequences. If the ground becomes too saturated with moisture, it becomes a risk for your crew and construction equipment. Heavier, continued rain can even affect the structural integrity of the environment and lead to a higher risk of accidents.
How Do You Control Stormwater Runoff on a Construction Site?
Here’s what to know about increased rainfall, and how to control construction site runoff of stormwater for the safety of your crew and building project.
Preparing for the Flood
It’s not always possible to prepare for the possibility of a flood or storm, even with the best and most accurate weather report in town. Storms can be unpredictable, and it’s almost impossible to know exactly when a storm is going to hit.
If you are working on an active construction site, preparation is a must to keep employees safe and the project on track after the storm has passed and dried up.
Do you see some clouds? Assume that it could be a storm ahead, even if the weather report doesn’t say anything about it.
Experienced builders have been using pure intuition for years. In some cases, this can be far more accurate than an updated weather report. Simply, it’s true that many builders have gotten to know their site – and will know when the first signs of a storm start to flare up.
What you should learn from this is to prepare for the potential of stormwater runoff before it happens, prior to the storm clouds breaking loose.
When planning out your construction site, plan far in advance for the potential of stormwater runoff.
The Consequences of Stormwater Runoff
Stormwater runoff is a massive, unexpected inconvenience to a construction crew. When stormwater runoff has taken over the construction site, it becomes impossible to continue, and it can become dangerous to move through.
Stormwater presents a danger to the crew, equipment, as well as to the site itself.
In the wrong environment, stormwater runoff can lead to accidents that postpone building plans and accidents that can lead to serious injury or death. Stormwater makes slips, falls and other types of injuries-on-duty more likely.
Accidents are more likely for construction crews in heavy storms, and you never want to be an unprepared crew member. Therefore, it is better to take action and be overprepared.
Controlling Stormwater Runoff on a Construction Site
The best way to control stormwater runoff on a construction site is to first consider where the water will go. It is required on most construction projects to have a topographical report of the site completed. This ensures accurate data for an engineered design to remedy storm water.
Some of the most common methods in dealing with storm water are basins that are interconnected with the main storm piping, inlets for pathways, and barriers (made with sand or cement bags). These obstacles will help redirect stormwater away from the most essential pathways of your construction site.
Ideally, plan for these stormwater controlling tactics ahead of time. To do so, place these obstacles in the way of potential stormwater runoff long before it becomes necessary.
It’s always better to be prepared for a flood of rain.
Additional Information: Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities
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