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Yard Waste Compost as a Stormwater Protection Treatment for Construction Sites

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Runoff water quality improvement from three yard waste compost erosion control treatments were compared with two conventional treatments and an untreated control on plots of 3:1 slope during two growing seasons, using natural events and simulated rainfall. Runoff volume, suspended solids, nutrients, biomass, turf shear strength, and turfgrass color scale were monitored. The most effective compost treatment, a 5-cm thick blown compost blanket, produced 12.7 times less runoff and 9.8 times less sediment load than a straw mat and silt fence treatment. The compost treatments generated eight times more biomass than the straw mat treatments. Root development was significantly better on the compost treatments based on turf shear strength measurements. Tilled-in compost was not as effective as a compost blanket at reducing sediment loss, particularly before the establishment of grass on the plot. The cost of compost treatments was similar to that of straw mat with silt fence treatments.

Keywords: compost; erosion; runoff; stormwater; water quality

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-08-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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