Mud from construction sites can flow into storm sewers and wreak havoc on the quality of streams, rivers, and other waterways. It also can annoy neighbors and result in steep fines. In this article, builder Fernando Pagés Ruiz recommends laying out a construction site in four zones to mitigate the effects of mud. Zone 1 establishes a perimeter by keeping as much vegetation as possible, then using silt fence and wattles in places where vegetation has been removed or disturbed. Zone 2 protects storm-water inlets through filtering sediment out of the water before it enters the inlets. Zone 3 sets up a material staging area to cleanly rid the construction site of excess water and concrete washout. Zone 4 creates clean access to the site by using either gravel or fabric mats. Builders who follow such practices have discovered an unexpected benefit: Customers assume that a tidy job site is indicative of the builder’s commitment to quality construction as well.
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