Sediment and Erosion Control


"Mud in the streets equals mud in the Chesapeake Bay"

Stormwater badge icon

All necessary efforts must be made to prevent sediment and erosion from escaping the job site or property and entering a stream, creek, river, or bay.  The transportation of sediment happens when rainwater carries sediment off of the property to the storm drain.  It can also happen when trucks track the sediment off the property into the streets.  The sediment carries chemicals and nutrients with it, it also blocks sunlight, and adds to the overall pollution of our waterways.

Sediment and Erosion Controls, also known as the Construction Site Runoff Control Management Control Measure under the City's stormwater permit is meant to prevent sediment from leaving active construction sites.  Small projects under 5,000 square feet or 2,000 square feet for waterfront lots agree to basic sediment and erosion controls during the building permit application.  These include:

  • Install reinforced silt fence. Silt fence must be  entrenched (bottom portion is underground) and remain upright without any holes. Soil should be kept from piling up against the silt fence and must be periodically removed.
  • Stabilize any exposed ground with seed and straw, a layer of hardwood mulch or another stabilization method. The entire job site must be stabilized before construction above the ground level.
  • Only dig as much as needed for work that day will keep soil from unnecessarily being exposed to erosion if otherwise left open for extended periods of time.
  • Put tarps over any piles of dirt to keep them from excess exposure to wind and rain to help prevent erosion.
  • Sweep up any dirt or sand in the road, sidewalk or driveway and place it in the disturbed area of your project or in your flower bed.
  • Don't hose down your road, sidewalk or driveway to clean it up. This sends the sediment straight into the storm drains (and on its way to the Bay)

Be proactive about controlling sediment and erosion during your project. Fines can be levied when mud/ dirt escapes a site.

Sites that require a grading permit because they are over 5,000 square feet of disturbance or 2,000 square feet of disturbance for waterfront lots or because they involve more than 100 cubic yards of earthwork will have plan sheets for Sediment and Erosion controls that are reviewed and approved by the Anne Arundel County Soil Conservation District and inspected by the City’s Stormwater Management Division. More information on the grading permit process can be found at the Guidance and Forms page.

Report any instances of sediment and/or mud escaping a site or evidence of construction sediment on sidewalks or roadways. Contact the Department of Public Works Stormwater Division by phone at (410)263-7949.

Have a Problem?

Use "Report A Problem" to let us know about City issues.

24/7 Text Information

Text My Gov Icon