Erosion and Sedimentation Control

Sediment As Stormwater Pollution

Sediment is a leading pollutant of urban streams, and new local, state and federal regulations require the use of adequate erosion and sediment control (ESC) measures. National and local studies have shown repeatedly that dispersed or “nonpoint” sources of pollution carried by stormwater runoff are major contributors to water pollution.  

The National Water Quality Inventory, 1996 Report to Congress stated that stormwater runoff is the leading cause of water quality impairment on a nationwide basis. Recent local studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and Kansas City, Missouri reveal that many pollutants in our area streams exceed national standards.


Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Developers, engineers and planners must control the volume and quality of stormwater discharge as our watersheds develop -- crucial elements for protecting human life and property, maintaining water quality and creating environmentally sensitive site designs.

Pre- and post-development stormwater best management practices (BMPs) are a major element of environmentally sound development. In the broadest sense, a stormwater BMP is any action or practice aimed at reducing flow rates and pollutant concentrations in urban runoff. In practice, BMPs typically include “nonstructural” practices such as preserving natural vegetation, particularly next to streams; and “structural” practices like vegetated swales, stormwater wetlands and wet detention basins planted with native vegetation. BMPs are “best practices” because they provide benefits beyond stormwater management, and often cost less over time than traditional practices.

For more information on stormwater BMPs, visit the Mid-America Regional Council website.

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Erosion and Sedimentation Control Standards

The City of Liberty Erosion and Sediment Control Manual (PDF) and the City adopted KC APWA / MARC - Manual of Best Management Practices for Stormwater Quality (PDF) are the primary guides used to determine if pre- and post-development erosion and sediment control devices and BMPs meet City standards.

Building construction sites are required to utilize and maintain adequate erosion and sediment control (ESC) measures per the conditions of the building permit. To report erosion and drainage concerns on building construction sites, you may contact the Building Permit and Inspections Department at 816.439.4530. 

Undeveloped lots in residential subdivisions, large land disturbance areas (grading, earthmoving, etc.) and City public works projects are required to utilize and maintain adequate ESC measures per the conditions of the City Land Disturbance Permit or City construction contract. To report erosion and drainage concerns on undeveloped or Public Works construction sites, you may contact the Engineering Division at 816.439.4500.


Creek Erosion and Drainage Concerns 

Most drainage concerns on private property are a private or civil matter. The City typically has no jurisdiction or responsibility for drainage or erosion issues on private property unless a public facility is contributing directly to the problem. Water is a "common enemy" and Missouri has a "modified common enemy doctrine" which requires land owners to make reasonable use of their land as it relates to water issues with neighbors.

Property owners are responsible for protecting their own property and may take measures to correct erosion issues. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has jurisdiction over all waterways of the U.S. so property owners must contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District and City of Liberty for permit requirements prior to any creek stabilization efforts. If you have questions regarding drainage, erosion or sedimentation issues, you may contact the Engineering Division at 816.439.4500.