Ditch checks are used throughout highway construction and are a critical element in an erosion and sediment control plan.  The purpose of a ditch check is to reduce flow rates, thereby minimizing channel erosion.  Proper installation is required for these devices to perform as intended.  A channelized flow testing apparatus was developed with the ASTM D7208-06 standard in mind, along with ALDOT’s design practices and needs taking precedence.  Testing procedures have been developed based on ASTM D7208-06 as well as ALDOT’s needs regarding ditch check performance testing.


Storm drain inlet protection practices minimize sediment transport by temporarily impounding runoff before entering storm drain inlets, allowing suspended sediment to settle.  To gain insight to the performance, durability, and maintenance needs of IPPs, reproducible experiments are being conducted in a large-scale test channel to comparatively evaluate varying material effectiveness, installation methods, and practices typically employed.  Test parameters have been designed to mimic expected field conditions, allowing researchers to improve the installation of current practices and evaluate performance.


Sediment basins are commonly used to capture and temporarily detain sediment-laden stormwater prior to leaving a construction site.  Sediment basins are designed to provide adequate detention time to allow for the settlement of soil particles.  Using lessons learned from construction site sediment basin studies, a large-scale sediment basin has been constructed at the AU-ESCTF that allows researchers to perform controlled tests to improve and evaluate the performance of various practices employed within a sediment basin.  The basin is also being used to evaluate advanced water treatment devices.



Devices used as sediment barriers, treat sheet flow by removing sediment primarily through sedimentation and, to a lesser degree filtration.  As ponding occurs, particles fall out of suspension and are retained on-site upstream of the SB.  When a sediment barrier fails in the field it is often unknown if material, design, application, installation or lack of maintenance was the cause.  To address the industry-wide need for full-scale SB testing, a full scale test apparatus was designed and constructed at the AU-ESCTF..  


Regulations require regular inspections, monitoring, and maintenance of employed erosion and sediment control practices.  Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are an emerging remote sensing tool capable of acquiring high resolution spatial and sensing data with the capability to provide high quality aerial imagery and data that can assist in site inspections of erosion and sediment control practices.  AU-ESCTF researchers are performing studies on an active construction sites using commercially available UAVs to assess applications and capabilities of enhancing the site inspection and construction monitoring process.


Hydromulching, is the hydraulic application of mulches.  Although mulching fill slopes for erosion control is not a new practice, new technologies and innovations in the hydromulch industry has allowed the development of superior erosion control products.  The purpose of this research effort was to test the intermediate-scale performance of hydromulches and compare them to the performance of conventional straw practices, and a bare-soil control.  Each treatment was subject to simulated rainfall, representative of a 2-year, 24 hour storm event.


In this research, the effectiveness of a chemical stabilizer known as anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) was examined using intermediate-scale testing procedures that mimicked conditions similar to highway embankments with compacted fill slopes.  The research focused on performing intermediate-scale experiments to examine the effectiveness of PAM with different application rates and application methods.


This research focused on improving sediment control practices used at highway construction projects by employing properly designed and correctly installed silt fence applications.  Silt fences with tiebacks form a temporary detention basin, which helps facilitate sediment removal by sedimentation.  This research developed a rational numerical method for designing such silt fence tiebacks at highway construction sites.  Using these data, designers can determine the proper placement frequencies of silt fence tiebacks along a linear highway construction project.

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2018
Last Updated: 9/1/17 11:53 AM