Yard waste compost as a stormwater protection treatment for construction sites

Craig T. Reinsch, David M. Admiraal, Bruce I. Dvorak, Chad A. Cecrle, Thomas G. Franti, John S. Stansbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Runoff water quality improvement from three yard waste compost erosion control treatments were compared with two conventional treatments and an untreated control on plots of 3:1 slope during two growing seasons, using natural events and simulated rainfall. Runoff volume, suspended solids, nutrients, biomass, turf shear strength, and turfgrass color scale were monitored. The most effective compost treatment, a 5-cm thick blown compost blanket, produced 12.7 times less runoff and 9.8 times less sediment load than a straw mat and silt fence treatment. The compost treatments generated eight times more biomass than the straw mat treatments. Root development was significantly better on the compost treatments based on turf shear strength measurements. Tilled-in compost was not as effective as a compost blanket at reducing sediment loss, particularly before the establishment of grass on the plot. The cost of compost treatments was similar to that of straw mat with silt fence treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)868-876
Number of pages9
JournalWater Environment Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Compost
  • Erosion
  • Runoff
  • Stormwater
  • Water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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