Silt Fence - Design and Installation

Design and Installation

Silt fences are perimeter controls, typically used in combination with sediment basins and sediment traps, as well as erosion controls, which are designed to retain sediment in place where soil is being disturbed by construction processes (i.e., land grading and other earthworks).

A typical fence consists of a piece of synthetic filter fabric (also called a geotextile) stretched between a series of wooden or metal fence stakes along a horizontal contour level. The stakes are installed on the downhill side of the fence, and the bottom edge of the fabric is trenched into the soil and backfilled on the uphill side. The stormwater slowly passes through the fence while depositing its sediments on the uphill side of the fence. The fence is not designed to concentrate or channel stormwater. The fence is installed on a site before soil disturbance begins, down-slope from the disturbance area.

Sediment is captured by silt fences primarily through ponding of water and settling, rather than filtration by the fabric. Sand and silt tends to clog the fabric, and then the sediments settle in the temporary pond.

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