Avoid fines and work stoppages, and protect the waterways your community depends on, by installing and maintaining these EPA construction site stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

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Protect Natural Features

  • Minimize Clearing.
  • Minimize the amount of exposed soil.
  • Identify and protect areas where existing vegetation, such as trees, will not be disturbed by construction activity.
  • Protect streams, stream buffers, wild woodlands, wetlands, or other sensitive areas from any disturbance or construction activity by fencing or otherwise clearly marking these areas.

Construction Phasing

  • Sequence construction activities so that the soil is not exposed for long periods of time.
  • Schedule or limit grading to small areas.
  • Install key sediment control practices before site grading begins.
  • Schedule site stabilization, such as landscaping, to be completed immediately after the land has been graded to its final contour.

Vegetative Buffers

  • Protect and install vegetative buffers along waterbodies to slow and filter stormwater runoff.
  • Maintain buffers by mowing or replanting periodically to ensure their effectiveness.

Site Stabilization

  • Vegetate, mulch, or otherwise stabilize all exposed areas as soon as land alterations have been completed.

Storm Drain Inlet Protection

  • Use rock or other appropriate material to cover the storm drain inlet to filter out trash and debris.
  • Make sure the rock size is appropriate (usually 1 to 2 inches in diameter).
  • If you use inlet filters, maintain them regularly.

Dirt Stockpiles

  • Cover or seed all dirt stockpiles.


  • Rough grade or terrace slopes.
  • Break up long slopes with sediment barriers, or under drain, or divert stormwater away from slopes.

Construction Entrances

  • Remove mud and dirt from the tires of construction vehicles before they enter a paved roadway.
  • Properly size entrance BMPs for all anticipated vehicles.
  • Make sure that the construction entrance does not become buried in soil.

Silt Fencing

  • Inspect and maintain silt fences after each rainstorm.
  • Make sure the bottom of the silt fence is buried in the ground.
  • Securely attach the material to the stakes.
  • Don’t place silt fences in the middle of a waterway or use them as a check dam.
  • Make sure stormwater is not flowing around the silt fence.