Landscape Runoff Barrier

Possible Landscaping Stormwater Runoff Violation

Your lawn care and landscaping company can be fined for improper barrier control of your landscaping jobs.

We received many inches of rain last week and I came across this improperly performed landscaping job. As you can see from the pictures, rain water is cascading down a hillside and mud is being washed into the street and into a stormwater drain.

I am not an expert on stormwater laws, but the company who performed this job is possibly in violation of a number of ordinances which address stormwater runoff, landscaping debris (including mud and gravel) deposited onto a city street, and muddy runoff into a stormwater drain.

A number of easy modifications to this landscaping job would have prevented this problem.

1) Heavy rain was forecast for the same day this 1-day job was to be completed. The company could have rescheduled this work until after the heavy rains.
2) A runoff barrier at the top of the landscaped area would have prevented water from gushing through the recently disturbed soil.
3) Though some straw was scattered above the ground, a heavier straw layer would have reduced the runoff problem.
4) A runoff barrier at the bottom of the landscaping area would have prevented mud from entering the roadway.
5) Bales of straw placed around the storm water drain would have prevented mud from entering the storm water system.

Landscaping runoff enters a stormwater drain.

Landscaping runoff enters a stormwater drain.

Not only did this company’s workers cause a big mess on the roadway, they also left their customer with improper landscaping. There are gullies in the ground where storm water washed through, the plants have bare roots exposed, and grass seed has been washed away.

Improper landscaping erosion control.

Improper landscaping erosion control.

A little bit of planning on this landscaping company’s part would have prevented a big and costly headache of possible storm water runoff violations. Stormwater violations are becoming increasingly scrutinized and fines are often very large.

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