Installation of Straw Barriers and Silt Fences

Report No: 77-R18

Published in 1976

About the report:

The most common types of temporary sediment control structures used by the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation are straw barriers and silt fences. Based on observations made in Virginia and other parts of the nation, filter barriers have not been as effective as many users had hoped they would be. Different researchers have found that the sediment trapping efficiency of straw barriers has generally ranged from 0 to 20 percent. The reasons for the low trapping efficiencies and high failure rates of straw barriers are described. The proper installation procedures for straw barriers in ditch lines where flows not over 1 cfs are expected are stressed. The proper installation of silt fences for critical areas where siltation control is needed is also described.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Other Authors

W. Cullen Sherwood, David C. Wyant

Last updated: January 28, 2024

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