Erosion Control Inspections

Request an erosion control inspection. Erosion control inspections are required before any ground-disturbing activity. Learn more about what you can do to control erosion. Get information about temporary erosion control and permanent erosion control measures.
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Temporary erosion control measures 

There are several kinds of pre-construction erosion control measures:

  1. Work site perimeter protection
  2. Install sediment fencing or construction fencing to keep mud and debris from washing off-site. Note: Trench in and backfill silt fence. Provide silt fence or straw wattles around toe of stockpiles.
  3. Sidewalk where it is below grade will trap sediments in run-off
  4. Use a gravel construction entrance
  5. Inlet protection such as catch basins or bio bags are good protection against run-off
  6. Cover earth stockpiles with weighted plastic checking regularly for movement and erosion of stockpile
  7. Contain construction wastes by covering them in a different location on-site or removing them from construction site
  8. Do not wash away mud. Instead, scrape or sweep it manually or with a vacuum sweeper.
  9. Continually maintain construction site to prevent any lapse in the temporary measures in place
  10. The Erosion Control Manual has more details: 

Permanent erosion control measures 

Before issuance of a final approval on all residential or commercial construction sites, certain permanent erosion control measures must be inspected and approved. Provide approved plans, permit card and post address on-site. In order to prepare for your erosion control inspections it is important to supply and demonstrate the following:

  • Plant required trees and landscaping.
  • Exposed soil must be stabilized with permanent measures which shall include a combination of plants, mulch, permanent structures, and permanent vegetative cover.
  • Rain gutters and downspouts must be installed
  • All paved surfaces must be clean
  • Remove stormdrain inlet protection and temporary erosion control measures when permanent erosion control is installed and site clean-up is completed

Other conditions may apply at your site that are not listed here. Use (inspection code #210) with the related webpages Using the IVR System to Request Inspections and Inspection Result and Inspection Codes and Reference - Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Please contact General Inquiries for more information.

Erosion concerns sign

The erosion concerns sign explains how to use the sign:

Permanent erosion and sediment control on sloping sites 

Drainage systems on sloping sites are needed to prevent erosion or remove sub-surface water from wet and steep slopes and should be installed and functional prior to installation of soil stabilization measures.

  1. Retaining walls are typically required for slopes exceeding a finished grade of 2 horizontal: 1 vertical. Approved plans must show all retaining walls that require a permit. Permits are required for retaining walls over four feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall.
  2. Benching and terracing examples are tiered planters and vegetated cribwalls.
  3. Ground surface stabilization in highly erosive or unstable soils on sloping sites may require extra measures involving soil retaining systems such as retaining walls and bioengineering measures such as live stakes and brush mattresses. Erosion control blankets, matting, and netting can be installed permanently in conjunction with seeding and plantings.

Request an erosion control inspection

To schedule an inspection, call our 24-hour Request for Inspection and Inspection Results phone number before 6 a.m. on the day you need the inspection. Be sure to have your permit number or IVR number available for reference when you call. Inspection requests called in after 6 a.m. will be put on the list for the next business day.

If you have problems using the IVR system to schedule your inspection, or you receive an error message, call General Inquiries. 

If disturbing the ground, you must have approval before digging. Use inspection code #200 with the interactive voice response system. Review the related webpages for more information about the IVR: Using the IVR System to Request Inspections and Inspection Codes and Reference - Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Permanent erosion control measures must be approved before permit final approval. Use inspection code #210 with the interactive voice response system. Review the related webpages for more information about the IVR: Using the IVR System to Request Inspections and Inspection Codes and Reference - Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

Check status of erosion control inspection

Check the status of your inspection online using Portland Maps. Be sure to have your permit number or IVR number available to use the search. This tool also allows you to see the status of complaints and permits issued after January 1, 2000.

For permits issued prior to January 1, 2000, review the related How to Request Public Property Records webpage

Erosion control corrections

Work may not be approved for a number of reasons: the inspector may not have access to do the inspection, the work may not be complete or there may be code violations. If corrections need to be made, the inspector will note them on the inspection report. You will need to make the corrections and request a reinspection. Please note that a reinspection fee may be charged for more than one reinspection for a single issue.