Winterization, Erosion Control

Erosion Control Plans for a construction site are prepared with the intent to addresses the discharge of sediment and other pollutants that are carried in runoff from the construction site. The plan details how to control sediment and other pollutants on the construction site by using control practices throughout the duration of the construction project and stabilization of the site. Erosion and sediment control best management practices (BMPs) include sediment ponds, tracking pads, silt fences and temporary seeding. Sequencing, inspection and maintenance procedures for BMPs must be included in the erosion control plan.

A common misconception is that the erosion control plan is the same as engineering plans or drawings. The erosion control plan is primarily a narrative document with some mapping requirements and is supported by engineered plans and calculations.

The basic principles of Erosion and Sediment Control can be summarized as follows:

  • Minimize open area by phasing or sequencing construction and preserving existing vegetation where possible.
  • Divert storm water away from disturbed or exposed areas when possible.
  • Install BMPs to control erosion and sediment and manage storm water.
  • Inspect the site regularly and properly maintain BMPs, especially after rainstorms.
  • Revise the plan as site conditions change during construction and improve the plans if BMPs are not effectively controlling erosion and sediment.
  • Keep the construction site clean by putting trash in trash cans, keeping storage bins covered, and preventing or removing excess sediment on roads and other impervious surfaces.


In most jurisdiction in California, all grading work shall be winterized by providing weather protection for the exposed graded surfaces no later than November 1. All exposed surfaces shall be protected (for example, planted, fertilized, and covered with a straw mulch or burlap netting) in a manner satisfactory to the applicable agency. Temporary structures, such as retention basins, sand bag baffles, plastic covering, and temporary culverts, might be required.

Work may be stopped by City or County Engineering if in their opinion, it appears that storm damage may result if grading is allowed to continue. The permittee may be required to install temporary planting to control erosion, install temporary structures, or take such other measures as may be required to protect adjoining property or the public safety.

– – – – –

KPROX is a small Civil Engineering consulting firm dedicated to providing high quality professional services in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. If you need help with your project, please contact us via phone: (650) 549-4249 or via email and we will be glad to assist you.