Uncontrolled dust particles on unpaved roads expose the soil and increase the risk of wind and water erosion, resulting in impacts on the environment.
Dust generation can occur through many activities across various industries. These activities may include:
- Land preparation.
- Land stripping.
- Soil cultivation.
- Constructing embankments.
- Installing underground services.
- Pit excavations.
- Road and drainage development.
- Timber harvesting.
- Quarrying and mining.
- Use of haul roads.
Knowledge multiplies when shared! Today we would like to share with you in the following pages 04 Key Steps You Surely Didn’t Know About How To Control Dust On Unpaved Roads based on these steps in controlling hazards and risks shown below.
01 Step One: Identify Hazards
Common hazards associated with uncontrolled dust generation include:
- Increased erosion, and sediment release into waterways and riparian areas.
- Unstable or degraded land surfaces.
02 Step Two: Assess Risks
To help assess the risk and impacts from uncontrolled dust on unpaved roads, you can:
- Consider the size, scale, and location of the proposed works.
- Understand the physical properties and soil characteristics of the critical area. Different soil types have varying:
- Levels of resistance to erosion.
- Potential to generate sediment-laden runoff in wet conditions.
- Potential to generate dust in dry conditions.
- Consider staging activities that will disturb the soil.
- Consider how you will protect waterways, catchments and associated vegetation.
- Understand the drainage profile and where surface runoff will flow during rainfall events (for example surface runoff flowing into local stormwater drains or nearby waterways).
- Understand the loading impacts of mobile equipment and vehicles on soils and embankments.
- Consider potential impacts to nearby sensitive receivers including aquatic ecosystems and riparian habitat.
03 Step Three: Implement Controls
Consider using the following controls, appropriate for your activities, to limit the impacts of uncontrolled dust where you work:
- Avoid clearing areas that don’t need to be disturbed.
- Stage soil work to minimize areas of exposure.
- Conduct regular meteorological monitoring (for example wind conditions and rainfall) and be flexible and adjust your work plan or reschedule as necessary. For example, wherever possible plan topsoil stripping and grading on days when wind conditions are less likely to carry dust towards sensitive areas. Also, stop works if dust from your site is visible beyond the site boundaries and moving towards sensitive receivers. Resume works only when you can implement effective controls or weather conditions and air quality improve.
- Install dust screens around the site as appropriate.
- Wind barriers (for example solid board fences, crate walls, bales of hay, burlap fences and trees) help with preventing erosion by obstructing the wind near the ground and in turn, prevent soil from being blown off site.Wind barriers are most effective when placed perpendicular to the prevailing wind.
- Suppress dust areas where works are happening, including outside business hours if windy weather is forecast.
- Stabilize exposed soils for example, by applying spray suppressants or soil binders.
- Suppress dust using misting or fogging systems.
- Stabilize vehicle movement areas to prevent tracking of sediment or generation of dust.
- Avoid driving over stabilized or exposed soil.
- Install a sediment or silt fence to stop silt and sediment runoff from leaving your work area.
04 Step Four: Check Controls
Monitor controls you put in place to ensure they operate effectively and as planned. For unpaved roads this could include:
- Regularly perform maintenance and reinforcement as required of installed controls, for example applying further application of soil binders.
- Inspecting controls following high rainfall and/or high wind events to confirm if any reinforcing or re-establishment is required.
- Monitor air quality for dust by using ambient dust monitoring equipment located on and off site. This will assist with identifying the effectiveness of implemented dust controls. For example, you can monitor dust from your site’s activities by using dust deposition monitors or video cameras at the downwind boundary. Portable gauges located downwind can send real-time data for dust and weather conditions. This includes temperature, rain, wind speed and direction.
30% Every time you use your car to move from one place to another, you are part of approximately 30% of the mechanisms that generate that dust.