Good Housekeeping BMPs part 1: What You Bring to the Site and How It’s Managed

The following is part of an ongoing Erosion and Sediment Control Plan in Hawaii series. I go through the Construction BMP checklist on page 2 of Appendix C (Construction Site BMPs Inspection Checklist for CCH Category 1A, 1B, 2, 3, and 4 and Trenching Projects). The series includes unofficial observations, explanations, and summaries by ESCP Coordinator Wendi Lau.

This oddly named, largest construction BMP (Best Management Practice) category accurately describes how well the site is organized and managed, just like a well-run household.

Since we all reside in some kind of home, I will explain them as if the construction site is our place of safety and rest.

BMP and Site Maintenance

Are all the BMPs called for properly installed and in good repair? Biosocks and silt fences often need attention.

Dust Control

These vertical dust barriers contain most of the dust from this site. Without wind slits, high winds could knock the fence over. This is standard for construction in Hawaii.

Just like our homes shouldn’t look like a volcano sneezed ash everywhere, the construction site shouldn’t spread dirt to neighboring properties or enter nearby waterways. All dust settles; the less of it outside the property, the better.

Putting up a vertical dust barrier and sprinkling water over large areas of loose dirt reduce dirt in the air, the ocean, and everywhere else.

Material Delivery, Storage, and Use BMPs

At home, we put food away and discard trash. On a construction site, the builder should store building materials neatly, in a covered area, and away from streams and storm drains for safety and environmental reasons. Improperly stored materials could fall on someone, trip workers, or spill fluid and leach chemicals into the ground.

Empty paint cans, discarded cellophane wrappers, and workers’ food trash should be removed from the site regularly for safety (tripping and attracts cockroaches and rats), and to avoid blowing into nearby streams or storm drains.

Additionally, certain substances—varnish, paint, and barrels of hazardous materials—must be stored off the ground (on a pallet) and on an impervious surface with a lip, so any spills or leaks cannot seep into the ground.

Without double protective containment methods, uncovered, carelessly piled metal containers will rust and break open in the salty, high humidity Hawaiian air.

Next: Stockpiling Management, Spill Prevention & Control, and Solid Waste Management