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The Effectiveness of a Sediment and Erosion Control Ordinance: Richland County, South Carolina

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Master's thesis

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The effectiveness of the Richland County Sediment and Erosion Control Ordnance is evaluated primarily through documentation of erosion and sediment response to suburban housing development. The Universal Soil Loss Equation USLE and the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation MUSLE are used to predict soil erosion and sediment yield, respectively. Suspended sediment concentrations were monitored for three storms to test and compare the accuracy of predicted sediment yields. Stream channel cross-section surveys reveal aggradation and sediment storage in channels, but channel dredging during this study prevented accurate determination of storage volumes. Housing and road construction disrupts the natural erosion resistance and can accelerate erosion and delivery to channel systems. The primary objectives of this ordnance are to 1 insure that drainage channels remain clear of obstruction to storm water runoff, 2 control water pollution of streams and drainage channels by urban water runoff, and 3 prevent the encroachment into natural drainage channels by buildings or land improvements. Rapid soil erosion occurs during summer months when rainfall is intense. It is also during these months that construction activity is at its highest peak. The quantity of sediment produced from construction areas has been shown to be from 2 to 200 times greater than for areas in a rural or wooded condition.

Subject Categories:

  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
  • Civil Engineering

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