Saturday, April 30, 2011

Speedway releases concrete slurry to storm sewer

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On or before April 24, Speedway Sand and Gravel was using a saw to cut concrete pavement on Highland Avenue.

Water is required to cool the saw--and the water, plus concrete dust, creates an alkaline slurry. The slurry is so alkaline that it can cause a fish kill, upon reaching the lake.

Madison General Ordinances prohibit releasing concrete wastewater to the storm sewer.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Landgraf continues abuse from concrete mixing

Mixing of mortar for bricklaying at Mendota Court
creates toxic dust and alkaline runoff.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My grandma was a good inspector

Grandma gets the dirt on Findorff and Tri-North
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When Grandma visited, she'd wipe her finger across the mantle above the fireplace.  If there was any dust, your reputation as a housekeeper was finished.   Grandma believed there were signs--good indicators of how people behave.

 So it goes with contractors and erosion control.  During the last year of inspecting scores of construction sites, I've had a chance to test Grandma's method.  It holds up pretty well.

If a construction site looks sloppy and disordered, then there's a good chance the erosion control has been neglected.

The silt fence--causes of failure

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The silt fence is one of the most effective BMPs at construction sites.  It acts as a dam along the perimeter of a site.  Water pools behind the dam, while sediment settle out.

However, in the year that I've been inspecting construction sites, I've seen a number of failures.  These failures can be serious, because the silt fence is usually the last line of defense.  Large amounts of impounded water and sediment can be suddenly released, causing a large sediment spill.

Inspectors should carefully inspect sediment fences, because they are so important, and because of ineffective installation, which is common.

When the fence fails, all that built-up water and sediment is released--causing a substantial "sediment spill."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Landgraf Construction dumps concrete wastewater to lake

Discharging concrete wastewater in the gutter is illegal.  The water is highly alkaline, and can cause a fish kill

Discharging such waste to the stormsewers is illegal in Madison.  The Department of Health writes up violations and passes them to the City Attorney for prosecution.

Landgraf Construction is mixing concrete products on-site at Mendota Court, just a block from Lake Mendota.