As of this morning (2/4/22), construction activity at the Laurel Springs RV Resort site was virtually shut down for a second day. Only one man was working on a bulldozer at the entrance. It appeared that he was making room for a new load of bullrock at the site’s main entrance. Harris County investigators asked the contractor to clean up the site and make it compliant with Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) requirements. That involves spreading bullrock at the entrances.
Purpose of Bullrock
Bullrock comes in many shapes and sizes and can be made from natural rock or crushed concrete. Think of very large gravel ranging from 2-5 inches. You often see it used in landscaping and French drains.
Contractors use it on construction sites to knock dirt off of tires before trucks leave the site. This keeps vehicles from tracking it out into streets where rain could wash mud into storm sewers, clogging them. See section 4.3 – “Sediment Track-Out” – of this EPA template for preparing a SWPPP.
However, over time, even the large spaces between bullrocks can become clogged with sediment. So periodically, contractors must replace the rock. It appears that the man on the bulldozer below was excavating and compacting dirt at the construction site entrance to make room for more or new bullrock.
What SWPPP Requires
The SWPPP template is a real eye opener. For neighbors monitoring construction, it alerts you to potential violations. Requirements cover many items besides sediment track-out. They include:
- Natural buffers
- Perimeter controls
- Stockpiled sediment
- Soil compaction
- Storm drain inlets
- Site stabilization and more.
For instance, Section 4.9 (Storm Drain Inlets) on pages 26/27 states that storm sewer inlets must be protected. But those on Laurel Springs Lane adjacent to the RV site are not. In fact, residents have caught contractors pumping sediment-laden water directly into storm sewers.
If you’re concerned about deficiencies in construction practices at the Laurel Springs RV Resort site, read the SWPPP template so you know what to look for.
I have requested the Resort’s own SWPPP plan, but have not yet received it.
How many other practices did the investigators from the City, County and State identify? Time will tell.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/4/22
1620 Days since Hurricane Harvey