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Why is Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Important?

Safety Reasons

  • Eroded soils can enter water bodies and channels, raising water levels and clocking culverts.  This can increase the changes for inundation of surrounding land.
  • Sediment can get deposited onto streets and roads by vehicles leaving the site or by stormwater runoff.  When wet, these sediments can be dangerous for drivers and bicycle riders.

Environmental ReasonsAugust087.JPG

  • Sediment in water bodies can cover eggs of fish and other organisms, preventing them from reproducing.
  • Excess sediment that is suspended in streams and rivers acts like sandpaper on fish and other organisms.  Suspended sediment can also abrade the tissues of plants that live in the water.
  • Sediment in water bodies can clog gills of fish and other organisms that have gills, making breathing difficult.
  • Sediment reduces light penetration, making photosynthesis more difficult for water plants.
  • While blocking light penetration, the soil particles absorb the heat form sunlight and later release it, thereby raising the temperature of the water and driving off desirable fish populations.

Aesthetic & Recreational Reasons

  • Clear water is more desirable for swimming, boating, canoeing and fishing than mud filled water.
  • Excess sediments build up in lakes and rivers.  This raises the water level but reduces water depth, which decreases canoeing and fishing opportunities.

Economic reasons

  • Excess sediment can increase the cost of treating drinking water and negatively affect the equipment used in the drinking water treatment process.  This increases the cost of treating drinking water.
  • Other pollutants such as pesticides, herbicides and oil, can become attached to eroded soils and enter water bodies along with the soil.  These contaminants can make swimming unhealthy for children and adults.
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