Sediment - What's the big deal?
Updated: Aug 3
Sediment, which includes materials such as soil, sand, and silt, can be a significant water pollutant. When sediment enters waterways, it can have a number of negative impacts, including:
Reduced water quality: Sediment can cloud the water, making it difficult for aquatic plants and animals to see and navigate. It can also absorb and release pollutants, such as heavy metals and nutrients, which can be harmful to aquatic life.
Habitat destruction: Sediment can fill in the spaces between rocks and other structures in waterways, destroying the habitat that many aquatic species depend on.
Damage to infrastructure: Sediment can clog pipes and other infrastructure, leading to reduced efficiency and increased maintenance costs.
Ecosystem disruption: Sediment can alter the natural balance of an ecosystem, affecting the survival and reproduction of aquatic species.
Sediment can enter waterways through a variety of sources, including erosion, construction sites, and agricultural activities. To prevent sediment pollution, it is important to implement measures to control erosion and sediment runoff, such as sediment basins, silt fences, and erosion control blankets. Proper planning and land use management can also help to prevent sediment pollution by reducing the amount of impervious surfaces, such as roads and buildings, which can contribute to erosion and sediment runoff.
Overall, sediment is a significant water pollutant that can have a range of negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems and infrastructure. By implementing effective sediment control measures and practicing responsible land use, it is possible to reduce the negative impacts of sediment on our waterways.