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Guide Book on Silt Control

at
Construction Sites

Jointly produced by :
The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd
Public Utilities Board

www.pub.gov.sg/ECM

CONTENTS
1.

Preface
o Message from SCAL
o Message from PUB
Director, Drainage Department

2.

Why is there a need for ECM?

3.

How can the Construction Industry help?


o Developer / Owner
o Contractor
o Professional Engineer

4.

How to have an effective ECM?


o Erosion Control
o Sediment Control

5.

What is the procedure to submit ECM?

6.

Checklist of Erosion and Sediment Control

7.

Bad & Good Practices at construction sites

8.

Legislation against silty discharge into public drains

9.

ECM products, services and technologies

10.

Other useful links

Annexes
Annex 1 Sample specifications and itemised breakdown for
ECM
Annex 2 Schematic drawing for ECM at construction sites

Preface
Message from SCAL:
The Singapore Contractors Association has been
supporting the effort to promote a high level of
environmental awareness in the construction industry
and we should play a more proactive role to ensure
the construction sites and related development works
would not give rise to environmental hazard in the
neighborhood.
Together with the Drainage Department, SCAL has
produced this guidebook, highlighting on the basic
measures that the contractors should take to prevent
or minimise water pollution by the wash down of silt
and debris from the construction sites into the public
drain.
We hope that the guidebook on silt control at
construction sites will serve its intended and meet the
requirements of the contractors.

Mr Tan Kian Hoon


President
Singapore Contractors Association Ltd

Message from PUB:


This guidebook is the result of a joint effort between
the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd and the
Drainage Department. We are very grateful to the
Association for its active participation in this
publication, particularly its hardworking officials and
committee members who, despite their busy
schedules, found time to work on the guidebook. My
sincere thanks to the President and Council Members
of SCAL, and members who have contributed towards
the publication of this guidebook.
Unlike the rivers and canals of the past, we now have
beautiful and clean watercourses that we can be proud
of. Everyone of us plays a part in keeping our waters
clean. As contractors, your role is important. Through
the simple act of controlling earth and silt washdowns,
you can prevent your site from becoming a source of
muddy waters that taint our watercourses.
This guidebook contains an overview of silt or earth
control measures that can be implemented at
construction sites. The measures described in the
book are chosen because of their proven effectiveness
and ease of installation.
Other measures may be
necessary for worksites with special needs.
We hope that you will find this guidebook useful.
With best wishes,
Yap Kheng Guan
Director, Drainage Department

Why is there a need for Earth Control Measures (ECM)?

Singapore is well respected


for her clean and green
environment as well as her
resourcefulness in harnessing
her scarce water resources.

Over the years, we have spent much effort to clean up and beautify
our rivers. This has resulted in the clean and aesthetic waterways, like
Singapore River and Kallang Basin which Singaporeans enjoy today.

Singapore River

Sungei Sembawang

Sungei Api Api

While our rivers and canals are clean most of the time, we still see
them turn brown during and after a rain. The silty brown water is
spoiling our proud image of a green and clean Singapore.

More importantly, the silty water is hampering our effort to make every
drop counts as the silt will make it more difficult and costly to treat.
Over the next 5 to 10 years, more of our canals and rivers will be
dammed up to increase Singapore's robustness in water resources.
By 2008, a barrage will be built across Marina Bay which will impound
water from 5 major urban river catchments.
Together we can definitely do more and better to improve the quality
of the storm runoffs discharging into our rivers and canals.

What causes the river to turn brown?


Silt and sediment control is a key element in our stormwater
management strategy. Sediments introduced into our rivers cause
environmental pollution and increase flood risk and turn our river
water brown. Sediments can remain suspended for a very long time.
The major source of sediments is from construction sites. Construction
activities disturb existing ground cover and vegetation, and expose
much bare surfaces.

How can the Construction Industry help?


Each sector of the construction industry plays a critical role in
implementing an effective earth control measures (ECM) at
construction sites, as follows:
Developer / Owner

to specify ECM requirements into the contract document and


allow contractor to price the ECM works into the contract sum
(see Annex 1 for sample specification and itemised BQ)

Contractor

to engage a Professional Engineer (PE) to design the ECM (see


schematic drawing in Annex 2) and continuously review it for the
whole duration of works to meet the changing site activities.

to install the ECM according to PE's design before the


commencement of site works, and modify it as required by the
PE during the course of the work.

to maintain the ECM until the end of the site works, and only
remove the ECM until permanent rehabilitation of disturbed
areas are put in place, and as advised by PE.

to submit a set of ECM proposal (and its updated revisions


based on construction phases) to Director, Drainage Department
for record.

to submit photos showing well-maintained perimeter cut-off


drains, silt fence, sedimentation basins, discharge point and
public drains downstream of the construction site to Director,
Drainage Department by email on a weekly basis and after
every rain.

Professional Engineer

to advise the developer / owner and contractor on the


importance of ECM in Singapore's effort to remain clean and
green, and to harness every drop of water.

to plan and design an effective ECM to be in place before the


commencement of construction works.

to continuously review and improve the ECM in tandem with the


changing site activities.

How to have an effective ECM?


An effective earth control measure (ECM) must comprise 2 aspects:
(a) Erosion Control - to minimise bare earth surfaces
(b) Sediment Control - to capture sediment
and shall comply with Clause 6.3 of the Code of Practice on Surface
Water Drainage.

Erosion Control
It is much easier and more cost-effective to prevent erosion than to
trap sediments after erosion has taken place. With proper planning, a
site should not have more than 0.1 ha of bare surface at any one time.
The following are some good ECM management practices to minimise
erosion by having minimum bare earth surfaces:

to sequence and schedule the earthworks / demolition works in


stages and progressively with the subsequent construction
activities and building works.

to minimise site disturbance by keeping site clearance works to


a minimum by retaining as much of the existing vegetation as
possible.

to pave up the bare surfaces and all construction access by


concrete or milled waste or other suitable materials.

to turf up the bare surfaces immediately in an earthwork /


demolition work if there is no subsequent construction activities.

to protect the bare slopes by close-turfing, cementitious spray /


grouting, canvas sheet or erosion control blanket.

to protect the earth stockpiles by canvas sheet or erosion control


blanket.

Sediment Control
After achieving minimum bare earth surfaces, sediment control
facilities must be put in place to capture the sediments washed down
from the construction sites. Some of these sediment control measures
and facilities which must be in place before the works start shall
include the following:

to provide concrete-lined cut-off drains (minimum C7 precast


channel) along the perimeter of the construction sites.

to provide silt fence properly installed and embedded onto the


ground along the perimeter cut-off drains (between the
construction site and the cut-off drains).

to provide sedimentation basins of adequate size and sufficient


numbers along the perimeter cut-off drains and before the
discharge points into public drain.

What is the procedure to submit ECM?


(I) During Planning and DC stage
Director, Drainage Department will include the standard clause when
giving clearance / approval for the owner/ developer to take note of
the ECM requirement or for the QP to advise the owner / developer :
The developer/owner shall provide effective erosion and sediment
control measures and facilities (such as perimeter cut-off drain, silt
traps, turfing/covering to bare areas) to control silt and mud from
construction site, and shall desilt and clear all affected watercourses
until completion of development work. The proposed erosion and
sediment control measures are to be submitted by a Professional
Engineer to Drainage Department for record before commencement of
earthwork.
(II) During Construction Stage
The Contractor shall submit the ECM proposal duly endorsed by his
PE to Director, Drainage Department and carbon copied to the owner /
developer as follows:

Before Work Commences - to submit the ECM proposal


indicating that:
o

minimum bare surfaces will be ensured according to the


construction activities in each phase.

a system of ECM will be in place before work commences

During Work - to revise and resubmit the ECM proposals


according to each phase of the construction activities indicating
that:
o

Minimum bare surfaces will be ensured.

the system of ECM will be effective for each phase will be


in place before each phase commences.

Upon Work Completion - to confirm that all the site activities


have been completed and the ECM can be removed.

CHECKLIST OF EROSION
CONTROL

To minimise bare earth surfaces to 0.1ha at


any one time

To sequence and reschedule earthworks or


demolition works in stages and progressively
with subsequent activities

To pave up all construction access and bare


surfaces with concrete, milled waste, etc

To protect bare slopes and stockpiles with


canvas, close turfing or erosion control
blankets

To establish final surface / turfing quickly

CHECKLIST OF SEDIMENT
CONTROL
Provide perimeter lined cut-off drains

Provide perimeter silt fences along perimeter


cut-off drains

Provide adequate size and number of


sedimentation sumps before discharge and
along the perimeter cit-off drain

Protect earth slopes/surfaces with closed turf,


milled waste, concrete, erosion control
blankets, polythene sheets or other suitable
materials

Maintain sediment control facilities at least


once a week and after every storm event

Review ECM plan with PE as work


progresses

Remove ECM only at the end of work and as


advised by PE

BAD & GOOD


PRACTICES
AT
CONSTRUCTION
SITES

r SILT FENCE NOT


PROPERLY INSTALLED

Silt fence not properly


embedded resulting in
gaps below the fence

Silt fence is installed


on the wrong side. It
should be installed to
trap the silt from the
worksite

r INADEQUATE SILT TRAP/


SEDIMENTATION TANK

Inadequate silt trap resulted in silty water discharges


onto adjacent footpath

Inadequate sedimentation
tank resulted in silty water
discharges into public drain

r BARE SLOPES/SURFACES

Uncovered earth slopes/ surfaces resulted in silt being


washed down into public drains

r DISCHARGED OF SILTY
WATER INTO PUBLIC DRAINS

Silty discharges at upstream, causing siltation of


abstraction pond at downstream

a TYPICAL SILT FENCE &


LINED PERIMETER CUT-OFF
DRAINS

Silt fence firmly


embedded in ground
and installed in
between cut-off drain
and worksite

a COVERING BARE AREA


Earth slope protected
with canvas sheets

Earth slope covered


with closed turfing

Earth stockpile protected


with erosion control
blankets

LEGISLATION AGAINST
SILTY DISCHARGE INTO
PUBLIC DRAINS

The following legislation and requirements pertaining to the


control of erosion and sediment are highlighted:

THE SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE ACT, CAP. 294


Works affecting storm water drainage system
Section 26(1) - No person shall carry out or cause to be
carried out any works which will affect any storm water
drainage system, drain or drainage reserve, directly or
indirectly, without obtaining in respect of those works, a
clearance certificate or approval of the Director.
Section 26(2) - Where any work has been carried out in
contravention of subsection 26(1), the Board may by Notice
in writing require the person who carried out the works, the
owner or occupier of any premises in respect of which the
works were carried out to carry out such works as the Board
thinks necessary within such time as may be specified in the
Notice.
Default in compliance with notice
Section 41(1) - Where a person on whom a Notice under
section 26 is served fails to comply with the notice
within the time specified in the Notice, he shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not
exceeding $20,000.

SEWERAGE AND DRAINAGE (SURFACE WATER


DRAINAGE) REGULATIONS REVISED EDITION 2001
Prohibition of discharge of silt, etc. into storm water
drainage system
Regulation 4(1) - No person shall discharge or cause or
permit the discharge into the storm water drainage system of
Total Suspended Solids in concentrations greater than 50
milligrams per litre of the discharge.
Regulation 4(2) - Every person carrying out earthworks or
construction works shall comply with the Code of Practice
and in particular with the following requirements:

earth control measures shall be provided and


maintained in accordance with the Code of Practice

runoff within, upstream of and adjacent to the work site


shall be effectively drained away without causing
flooding within or in the vicinity ofthe work site.

all earth slopes shall be set outside a drainage reserve;

all earth slopes adjacent to any drain shall be closed


turfed; and

adequate measures shall be taken to prevent any earth,


sand, topsoil, concrete, debris or any other material to
fall or washed into the storm water drainage system
from the stockpile thereof.

Penalty
Regulation 6 - Any person who contravenes or fails to comply
with any provision of these Regulations shall be guilty of an
offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not
exceeding $5,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to
a further fine of $500 for every day or part thereof during
which the offence continues after conviction.

ECM products, services and technologies


Silt Fence
Silt fence is a temporary
sediment barrier consisting
of filter fabric entrenched
into the soil and attached
to supporting posts for
efficient
control
of
sediment
run-off
from
construction sites.
Silt fence is a sediment control practice. It is intended to be installed
adjacent to critical areas where sediment-laden water can pond, thus
allowing the sediment to fall out of suspension and separate from the
runoff. It is not intended to be an erosion control practice. Improperly
applied or installed silt fence will increase erosion.
Suppliers:
AbacusCorp , email : abetrad@Singnet.com.sg
Mirafi Geosynthetics Products :
http://www.mirafi.com/products/products_index.html
Permathere : http://www.permathene.co.nz/htm/silt.htm
Southwest Environment Services, Inc :
http://www.southwestenvironment.com

Sedimentation Tank
AquaSed, a system specially designed
by Hong Kong Productivity Council
(HKPC), is capable of treating large
volume of highly turbid silty water
discharged from construction sites.
This system can treat the silt water to
comply with the discharge standards
and ensure the construction work
uninterrupted.

Environmental Management Division : http://www.hkpc.org/emd


Hong Kong Productivity Council : http://www.hkpc.org

Erosion Control Blankets


An alternative to canvas sheet and
closed turfing, it is a machinedproduce mat made of coconut or
palm oil fibre which provides
immediate erosion control once
installed.
It is biodegradable and has different
grades for different duration of
protection, ranging from 2 months to
36 months.
Suppliers :
North American Green : http://www.nagreen.com
CHT-Natural Solutions, email : yufong@starhub.net.sg
Mirafi Geosynthetics Products:
http://www.mirafi.com/products/products_index.html

Turbitiy Curtain
Turbidity curtains are impermeable
barrier, constructed of a flexible
reinforced thermoplastic material.
The upper hem has floatation
material and the lower hem has
ballast material.
They are intended for construction work adjacent to a water resource
to contain sediment within the work area. They allow suspended
sediment at a dredging site to settle out of the water column in a
controlled area, minimising the area that is affected by the increased
suspended sediment usually present at a dredging site. However,
turbidity curtains are limited to project locations with less than 1-2 knot
currents.
Suppliers:

Elastec American Marine Inc : http://www.elastec.com/curtains.html


Permathene : http://www.permathene.co.nz/turbidity.htm
Mentanza Pty Ltd : http://www.mentanzapl.com/silt_screens.htm

Indirect Screening for Silt / Debris Control


A non-powered, low maintenance
alternative to traditional screening
systems. Its unique and non-blocking
screen design is capable of deflecting
silt / flotsam for removal while allowing
clean water to flow back to the
waterways.

Conventional direct screening

Indirect screening technology

Suppliers:
CDS Technologies : http://www.cdstech.com
Stormceptor : http://www.rinkerstormceptor.com
Rocla : http://www.pipe.rocla.com.au

Other useful links


International Erosion Control Association : http://www.ieca.org
US Environmental Protection Agency : http://www.epa.gov

Annex 1
SAMPLE SPECIFICATIONS FOR EARTH CONTROL MEASURES
1

The Contractor shall be responsible for preventing silt from being


washed into public drains by implementing an Earth Control
Measure (ECM) for the construction site to meet the
requirements under the latest Sewerage and Drainage Act Cap
294. (Information on ECM requirements can be found in PUB
website www.pub.gov.sg/ECM)

In his tender submission, the Contractor shall submit his


schematic ECM plans of the construction site for the contract
duration taking into account the different phases of construction
activities. He shall also provide the name of the PE who will be
endorsing the ECM plan after the tender is awarded. These
schematic ECM plans shall make the Contractor aware of the
ECM requirements and the cost to implement an effective ECM.
Notwithstanding the submission of these schematic ECM plans
the Contractor shall deem to have separately price for the ECM
in the contract sum.

Before construction works commence on site, the Contractor


shall engage a Professional Engineer (PE) to plan and design
the ECM, and he shall install the ECM according to the PE's
design. The ECM plan and design shall be submitted 1 week
after the award of the contract. During the course of the
construction works, the PE shall review the ECM proposal
regularly to meet the changing needs of the construction
activities. The Contractor shall improve the ECM as advised by
his PE. The planning and design of the ECM shall meet the
minimum requirements stipulated and in accordance to the Code
of Practice on Surface Water Drainage.

The Contractor shall maintain the ECM for the whole duration of
the contract to ensure that it is effective at all times. Proper
records detailing the maintenance works, supported by dated
photographs, shall be kept by the Contractor for verification.

The Contractor shall not remove the ECM until all works are
completed and upon the advice of his PE.

The Contractor shall submit the ECM proposal duly endorsed by


his PE to Director, Drainage Department for records. The
proposed ECM shall consist of the following three parts:
I. Project Particulars
The following information shall be provided under the
Project Particulars:
(a) Project description
(b) Name and address of site occupier;
(c) Site area and contract period;
(d) Location map and site plan.
II. Erosion Control Plan (described in 7)
III. Sediment Control Plan (described in 8)

During construction, the Contractor shall minimize the formation


of bare surfaces under the ECM's Erosion Control Plan. The
Plan shall depict graphically the activities, including sequence of
work, type and duration for each phase of construction activities
to include the following measures to:
(a) sequence and schedule of the earthworks I demolition works
in stages and progressively with the subsequent construction
activities and building works.
(b) minimise site disturbance by keeping site clearance works to
a minimum by retaining as much of the existing vegetation as
possible.
(c) pave up the bare surfaces and all construction access by
concrete or milled waste or other suitable materials.
(d) protect the bare slopes with close-turfing, concrete grouting,
canvas or erosion control blanket.

(e) protect the earth stockpiles with canvas or erosion control


blanket.
(f) restore ground cover over disturbed areas, which are or have
become bare, as soon as possible.
8

The Contractor shall put in place the ECM's Sediment Control


Plan, which aims to capture the sediments washed down from
the construction sites.
Some of these sediment control
measures and facilities, which must be in place before the works
start, shall include but not limited to the following:
(a) concrete-lined cut-off drains (minimum C7 precast channel)
along the perimeter of the construction sites.
(b) silt fence properly installed and embedded onto the ground
along the perimeter cut-off drains (between the construction
site and the cut-off drain).
(c) sedimentation basins or any other sediment filtering or
settling system of adequate size and sufficient numbers along
the perimeter cut-off drain and before the discharge points
into public drain.

The PE shall submit full basis of design back up with design


calculations to show clearly how the perimeter cut-off drains, silt
fence and sedimentation basins are designed and sized as well
as how such design will effectively filter off silt and allow only
clean water to discharge into public drains. The discharge into
the storm water drainage system shall not contain Total
Suspended Solids in concentrations greater than the limit
stipulated in the latest Surface Water Drainage Regulations and
Code of Practice on Surface Water Drainage. The intensity of a
one-in-two year storm should be adopted for the proposed
design.

Sample Itemised Breakdown for Earth Control Measures


S/No

Description

Qty

Unit

Rate

Allow
for
engaging
a
Professional
Engineer
to
design and submit an Earth
Control Measures Proposal to
the full satisfaction of the SO
as well as Director, Drainage
Department; all as specified.

Item

Allow for the implementation


and maintenance of the
Erosion Control Plan; all as
specified.

Item

Allow for the implementation


and maintenance of Sediment
Control Plan; all as specified.

Item

TOTAL TO SUMMARY OF
TENDER

Amount
($)

Annex 2

Acknowledgement
1st edition - 2001
1.

The Singapore Contractors Association Ltd

2.

Drainage Department, Ministry of the


Environment

2nd edition Dec 2003