When you have a construction project going on in or around a body of water, your responsibility to protect the environment gets even more complicated. You are automatically putting this small ecosystem at risk for increased concentration of particulate matter, which can modify the amount of light that penetrates. Lower light penetration can kill off several species of water plants and the organisms that feed on them. In addition, it can cause shallow lakes and bays to fill in faster. You are also at an increased risk of cleaning oil spills out of the water.
With any type of project near a water system, you should have the top of the line oil spill dispersant ready to go, and should be using a turbidity curtain. Turbidity is the excess particulate caused by the silt and sediments stirred by in water or near water construction activities, or by dredging operations. As stated above, this silt and sediment disruption can be very detrimental to the homeostasis of that water community. A good way to conceptualize turbidity is to think of it as the liquid version of smoke in the air.
In order to properly protect the area you are working on, you should have updated oil spill dispersant equipment and a top of the line turbidity barrier. A turbidity curtain, also known as a turbidity barrier, silt barrier, or a silt curtain, is used to contain turbidity caused by construction activities taking place near or in bodies of water, or by dredging operations. Turbidity barriers are generally used when construction activity occurs within a waterbody or along its shoreline. They are most commonly used when the project is short term, generally less than a month.
Having a turbidity curtain and an oil spill dispersant kit are so important that there are usually laws around their use and maintenance. While in use, a turbidity curtain should and can be inspected several times. Prevention is the best way to stay away from costly clean ups in the end. If you do not have this equipment or need to update it, begin researching companies with reputable turbidity curtain cost and installation. The investment now will save you headaches later in your project.