Storm damage recovery

TRN-8.03 - Mud Tracked in the Public Right-of-Way

Administrative Rules Adopted by Bureaus Pursuant to Rule Making Authority (ARB)
Policy category
Policy number
Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau of Transportation Engineering & Development Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority
January 8, 2003
From:  Dave Hill, P.E., City Engineer
Subject:  Policy to remove mud tracked in the Public Right-of-Way
It has come to our attention that on construction projects where mud is tracked in the streets by construction equipment, that the sediment is often flushed into the catch basins without any attempt to filter-out the sediments.
Sections 10.30.020 and 17.39.030 B.8. of the City Code prohibit the discharges of sediment laden storm runoff into any water body or storm drainage system.  Section 10.30.020 states
"No visible and measurable sediment or pollutant shall exit the site, enter the public right-of-way or be deposited into any water body or storm drainage system."
In addition, intentionally flushing sediment into storm sewer systems that lead to rivers and streams is a violation of the Clean Water Act and Oregon Environmental Law.  Actions such as these defeat the purpose of erosion control, which is to keep soil on-site.
Ideally, the best solution is to work with the property owners and contractors to keep sediment on-site and out of the streets.  However, if mud is tracked or spilled into the street, it should be cleared up immediately and no later than the end of the work shift, by using the following steps:
  • Use tractor-loader backhoes, sweepers (wet or vacuum to hold dust down) or hand tools to remove as much of the material as possible from the road surface.  Return this material to the site and use Erosion Control measures to keep it there, or have it disposed of appropriately.
  • Any materials still remaining on the roadway shall be vacuumed up by a vacuum sweeper truck, saw cut vacuum, wet/dry vac or other approved method.  All collected materials shall be appropriately dewatered and solids either properly removed or returned to the site and protected with erosion prevention methods.
  • Any residual materials left after vacuum sweeping shall be allowed to dry and dry swept or vacuumed from the site.  Materials shall be appropriately replaced onsite, reused or disposed of appropriately.
  • If mud is being tracked into the street from a construction site, construct a gravel construction entrance using 3" minus to prevent additional material from being tracked into the street.  Place additional gravel and remove dirt as necessary.  If additional or replaced gravel still does not eliminate tracking, wheel washes or other methods of wheel cleaning should be installed and maintained to assure no material is tracked into the right-of-way.
  • If all of the items listed above have been exhausted and street flushing must be used to clean the street, then use 1 of the 2 following methods:
    • Provide appropriate inlet protection to filter out the sediments, prior to flushing.  There are many to choose from, including bio-bags, filter fabric and gravel, inlet bags, inlet pillow, etc.  Combinations of various products should be considered.  Care must be taken while flushing the street not to overwhelm the inlet protection. This protection must be in place prior to construction that might create soil erosion.  OR
    • Direct the water to a collection point. Then either pump the water back to the site to be infiltrated or collect and dispose of the water as approved by BES.
  • The material that collects at the inlet protection should be removed and placed on-site or disposed of appropriately.  If this material is placed back on the site, erosion control methods must be taken to keep it in place.
  • Daily inspection of erosion control is recommended.  This protection shall be inspected after all rainstorms greater than 1/2".
  • All erosion control materials shall be maintained throughout the duration of the project. 
  • Daily cleaning of the roadway is NOT an acceptable substitute for proper on-site erosion and sediment control.  Use a Stop Work Order or other enforcement processes to gain compliance if needed.
We all need to work together to educate the public and Contractors on these types of issues.

Filed for inclusion in PPD December 3, 2003.

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