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Water 2017, 9(7), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070502

Performance Evaluations of Three Silt Fence Practices Using a Full-Scale Testing Apparatus

1
McWhorter School of Building Science, 118 M. Miller Gorrie Center, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
Department of Civil Engineering, 238 Harbert Engineering Center, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, 394 Town Engineering, Ames, IA 50011, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 5 July 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 11 July 2017
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Abstract

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: construction; erosion; full-scale testing; sediment barrier; sediment control; silt fence; water quality construction; erosion; full-scale testing; sediment barrier; sediment control; silt fence; water quality
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Bugg, R.A.; Donald, W.; Zech, W.; Perez, M. Performance Evaluations of Three Silt Fence Practices Using a Full-Scale Testing Apparatus. Water 2017, 9, 502.

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