Prevent Trackout

Construction site with gravel to prevent trackout

'Tis the Season for Preventing Trackout

As winter takes us into the holiday season, it’s time to focus on preventing trackout. Heavy equipment combined with wet weather and cycles of freezing and thawing create muddy situations. When mud sticking to boots and tires is tracked offsite, it becomes a major source of loose sediment on sidewalks and streets. These dirt deposits are easily rinsed directly to our storm drains during the next rainfall or snowmelt, polluting stormwater that drains into the Boise River.

Boise’s Construction Site Erosion Control ordinance requires that actions must be taken to minimize trackout. The most important control is the stabilized construction entrance (SCE). An SCE, also known as a trackpad, typically consists of rock placed on top of a mud suppressing fabric lining that is 50 feet long and 15-20 feet wide. Angular or crushed rocks that are 1.5” to 3” in diameter should be used to increase the scraping power. The deeper the rock bed and the longer the SCE or trackpad, the better. In addition to rocks, sites may add structural controls that scrape mud off tires, such metal grates with ridges or heavy duty articulated modular mats.

Once installed, SCE’s must be maintained by turning over the rocks to prevent compaction and mud buildup on the surface. All access points in and out of a site must have an SCE. In addition to an SCE for vehicles, stabilized gravel walkways and mud-free routes for employees should be established. Placing a boot brush at the site’s exit is also effective and much preferred to scraping mud off on a curb or storm drain grate. Employees should use designated entrances, and perimeter silt fence or construction fencing can help direct them to designated locations. Other strategies to minimize trackout include a stabilized traffic route through the site or around buildings, graveled employee parking areas, stabilized access to the porta pots, and stabilized access to the concrete washout facility within the site.

If trackout is not prevented, it must be cleaned-up as soon as possible. Clean-up is a labor intensive and costly process compared to proactive measures, so it’s best to deal with it by taking many of the steps outlined above.

ESC Inspectors will be on the lookout for trackout this season. Repeat offenders will be put on notice that further trackout will result in re-inspection fees and parcel holds until adequate controls are implemented. For more information, please contact your inspector.

Construction site preventing trackout
Construction site with gravel and grate preventing trackout
Diagram showing how to prevent construction site trackout

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