Erosion and Sediment Control

How Does Erosion Affect Our City?

Erosion is the process by which soil and rock are removed from the Earth’s surface by exogenic processes, such as wind or water flow, and then transported and deposited in other locations. This process reduces water quality and can slowly cause the transformation of the natural drainage areas in Lakeland.

Construction sites have challenges with controlling erosion because of the need to break ground, clearing the vegetation thus causing a transformation of the drainage areas. Sediment is the main pollutant on construction sites, averaging a runoff rate that is 10 to 20 times greater than that of agricultural lands.


Mud and Grass
A Stream with Greenery

What is the City of Lakeland Doing?

The City of Lakeland addresses roadside litter from the minimum control measures set forth in our Stormwater Management Plan. The table describes in further detail how each measure is being met with best management practices (BMP).

Minimum Control MeasureBest Management Practice Activity 
Public Education and Outreach
  1. Disseminating information about erosion control to:
    1. Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs)
    2. Lakeland Elementary School
    3. Lakeland Currents Magazine
    4. This website and other City outlets
  2. City staff annual education and training on stormwater issues
Public Involvement and Participation
  1. Tennessee Smart Yard Program
  2. Involvement from developers regarding construction site erosion control and ensuring ordinances are enforced.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  1. Annual visits to the following agencies:
    • Chamber of Commerce
    • Local Fire Department
    • HOAs
    • Lakeland Elementary School
  2. Adoption of ordinances pertaining to illicit discharges, which can be detrimental to erosion and sediment control.
Construction Site Runoff Program
  1. Review of existing erosion and sediment control ordinance that includes economic sanctions for noncompliance.
  2. Development of an electronic database tracking inventory system for all construction sites.
  3. Review of existing ordinances and public works construction manual to ensure adequate erosion and sediment control measures.
Permanent (Post-Construction) Stormwater Management Program
  1. Developing changes to existing ordinance pertaining to stormwater runoff, meeting the Tennessee State Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) requirement of capturing the first inch of stormwater runoff.
  2. Review and update of the current streamside buffer ordinance.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
  1. Conducting annual inspections of the following:
    1. Reducing or eliminating pollution from WWTP
    2. Reducing or eliminating pollution from Public Works Yard
    3. The City’s two detention ponds.
  2. Employee Training about Stormwater Regulations.

What Can You Do?

There are many things you can do as an individual, family, and community to help reduce Lakeland’s erosion and sediment control issues.


  • 1. Please take a look at the Erosion Control Ordinance for specific details regarding required erosion control methods while building in Lakeland.
  • 2. Here are some brief quick tips:
    • Examine the site carefully before building in order to have the proper design that includes slope, drainage patterns, and soil types.
    • Preserve existing vegetation as much as possible.
    • Minimize the length and steepness of slopes by benching, terracing, or constructing diversion structures. Landscape benched areas for further stabilization.
    • After grading a site, plant vegetation quickly on areas that are not paved or covered.
    • Find ways to minimize the use of impervious surfaces.
  • 3. Acquire the latest Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Manual from the TDEC for Low-Intensity Development. Install several of the most suitable practices as part of the site.


  1. A common way to prevent soil erosion is to plant flowers, trees, and crops over the affected soil. Plants are protective shields that lessen the impact of rainfall, wind, and excessive watering.
  2. Install matting on the affected soil. Matting is available in wood fibers which make it environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Matting stabilizes the soil while allowing plants, crops, and trees to grow through.
  3. Utilize mulch and/or fertilizer on top of the soil. This helps water to soak in more slowly, lessening the impact of rainfall, and further stabilizing the soil.
  4. Install a retaining wall to act as a shield for the soil. It can be built around the garden bed in order to slow the speed of the water after a rain event.
  5. Acquire the latest Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Manual from TDEC for Low-Intensity Development. Install several of the most suitable practices as part of the site.