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    Sediment continues to be the primary pollutant by volume in Ohio's streams and rivers. Unvegetated roadside ditches' side slopes and bottoms erode and contribute tons of sediment annually to local receiving streams. Pollutants attach themselves to sediments and are transported by the stormwater runoff throughout the watershed, degrading the water quality of receiving streams and rivers (CRWP 2012). Excessive erosion causes both "on-site" and "offsite" problems. Off-site effects include sedimentation of waterways and eutrophication of water bodies. On-site impacts include loss of the nutrient-rich upper soil layers. Erosion and sedimentation control and storm water quality treatment in ditches typically relies on the vegetation in ditches. Temporary erosion control products in roadside ditches which are the focus of this manual, reduce soil erosion from the ditches' sides and bottoms by protecting bare soil surface from raindrop impact and sheet erosion until vegetation is established. Once vegetation is established, it filters sediment and pollutants attached to the sediment as the water flows through the plants. Vegetation also slows down the water, allowing a portion of it to infiltrate into the soil and allowing some of the debris and pollutants to settle out (Elfering and Biesboer, 2003). Ditches that are stripped of the vegetative cover during ditch cleaning maintenance operations should be immediately seeded to control erosion and sedimentation and promote treatment of the storm runoff prior to discharge into the receiving waterbody. Vegetation is used to stabilize soil, reduce erosion, prevent sediment pollution, and reduce runoff by promoting infiltration. Healthy, dense vegetation promotes infiltration and reduces the amount of runoff. If ditches' slopes and bottoms are not protected immediately after cleaning, they will erode and begin a new cycle of sedimentation which will decrease the time between required cleaning operations and further stretches the already limited ODOT maintenance resources. Soils within roadside ditches are often compacted, poorly drained and may be nutrient deficient. These characteristics along with seasonal fluctuations in weather patterns sometimes make it difficult to establish vegetative cover immediately following ditch maintenance operations (CRWP 2012). The establishment of quality vegetation requires careful seedbed preparation, temporary seed protection, and adequate maintenance. It is therefore important that after seeding, the soils and seed are temporary protected until vegetation is established. Recent research completed has concluded that the practice of seeding ditches and providing temporary seed protection is not a standard practice in all of ODOT counties and in other state DOTs (Elzarka et al. 2016, CRWP 2012, Chesapeake 2016, IRVM 2013). The research has confirmed the importance of such a practice in reducing excessive erosion. The research has also reported that newer erosion control technologies products such as advanced hydraulic mulch products and straw wattles have potential use in ditches. Elzarka et al. 2016 also concluded that ODOT counties that are currently seeding ditches after cleaning don't have standard procedures and in some cases there is a lack of information on what best temporary erosion control practice to use, what equipment to purchase and what application rates are effective. Hence it was important to develop this manual of temporary erosion control in ditches to familiarize highway maintenance personnel with best practices for installation, recommended application rates and selection methods of erosion control products.
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