What Does an ESCP Coordinator Look for During an Inspection?

I usually do ESCP (Erosion and Sediment and Control Plan) inspections once a month during construction. However, during rainy season, I check all my sites during or right after a big rain.

Just ¼” of rainfall warrants an ESCP inspection. But instead of worrying about Hawaii’s frequent, short showers, I head out for heavy rains and large areas of disturbed dirt, which can make a big mess if not properly enclosed beforehand.

escaping sediment in stormwater runoff

I check how well the erosion and sediment controls worked, and whether they need to be fixed or adjusted.

Silt fences are properly dug into trenches 6” deep and 6” across

Supports for silt fences should be attached to the silt screen fabric in three places, unbroken, and sturdily pounded into the ground

Biosocks should be hole-free and positioned flush with the ground

The street in front of the site should be clean, without debris or dirt residue from the site

Drywall and cement residue should be rinsed off in a cement wash, not dumped out on the ground where chemicals can leach into the soil and groundwater

Are dirt and gravel stockpiles covered with plastic, and weighed down when unworked for a week or when a storm is expected?

Are areas with lots of dug-up dirt properly contained by biosocks or silt fences to control sediment?

A silt fence would contain this amount of dirt better than a biosock during rainy season.

Are nearby storm drains and gutters protected with something that strains debris out of rainwater?

These are the biggest, most urgent things I photograph and address in the ESCP report for the builder or homeowner. My goal is to clarify issues and prevent pollution, citations, and fines, not get the homeowner in trouble.

We are all on the same side to protect the environment AND people–on-site, in the ocean, eating seafood, and drinking lava-filtered groundwater decades in the future.

Photos by Wendi Lau.