Welcome back to another edition of Blogging BMP’s! I wish that I could say this edition was being composed under better circumstances than last month, but unfortunately it is quite the opposite.  Covid 19 is still dominating our lives. We have learned a few more catch phrases like NEW NORMAL and PPE (personal protective equipment). Stay at home orders have isolated all of us from our friends and loved ones. In spite of these regulations, we are somehow closer than ever thanks to a little thing called Zoom. 

               Truth be told, this deadly virus is changing our world in more ways than we may ever know.  People are losing their jobs at an alarming rate.  Some are laid off, others furloughed, many will flat out have no job to go back to.  My heart goes out to those who are facing these realities and I wish good will on all of those affected by this pandemic.  One of the brighter spots through all of this is the continuing growth in Elkhart County.  Projects continue to come into the SWCD at a regular clip and businesses are preparing to rebound with a vengeance once the economy is “re-opened”. So for me, the wheels just keep turning and the soil continues to be disturbed.

              As the work continues, many of the things we often overlook continue as well.  I know that anything I see on a daily basis generally doesn’t impact me the same way something I only see every now and then will. Like a child for example, if you see them every day they don’t seem to grow, but when Grandma comes over, they’ve grown like a weed.  It is the same thing with a CONSTRUCTION ENTRANCE.  When you drive over it every day, only small changes are noticed, but the reality is that it’s completely flattened and totally ineffective within a few days.  Sediment is tracking all over the road and eventually washing into the storm drain with the next rain.  The Best Management Practice is to freshen those stones and create a rough enough surface to knock the sediment off of the tires that are leaving the sight. If they are just too far gone to be grated, haul more stones in to build your base back up.  Another way to ensure you maximize your stones is to install a felt underlayment to prevent the stones from penetrating the soil and going deeper every time someone drives over them.                        

As usual, an ounce of preparation can save pounds of perspiration.  Make sure you install your entrance correctly to begin with and maintain it daily to ensure it is effective throughout the life of your project.  For further instructions on both installation and maintenance of a CONSTRUCTION ENTRANCE, please visit our website www.elkcoswcd.org and click on the Rule 5 link.  If you go to temporary and permanent site stabilization there will be a link to the IDEM stormwater manual which contains directives on all BMP’s including construction entrances.