When constructing and maintaining resource roads, controlling erosion and sediment around the roads is important in preserving water quality for nearby fish-bearing streams. Recognizing the need for improved resources that summarize best practices, FPInnovations and BC Timber Sales have recently produced a video for the two most common water management techniques—cross-drain culverts and offtake ditches.
Cross-drain culverts are used on roads with an inside ditch to direct ditch water from one side of the road to the other. Offtake ditches, also known as “offtakes” and “ditch turnouts,” are used to direct ditch water away from a road. In British Columbia, these structures are sometimes specified in engineered plans but more often are left to the discretion and experience of road builders that have varied skillsets and experience levels.
The video highlights the need to consider water connectivity—a metric that depends on disturbed drainage area and distances to streams—as a central decision-making tool in the planning, design, installation, inspection, and maintenance of culverts and offtakes. It can be a useful training tool for equipment operators, supervisors, and planners working in the forestry and natural resource sectors.
Additional resources on this topic
- Erosion and Sediment Control Practices for Forest Roads and Stream Crossings: A Practical Operations Guide – download for free, or purchase a paper copy
- Erosion and Principles of Erosion Prevention in a Forestry Context (video)
- Sediment and Principles of Sediment Control in a Forestry Context (video)
In addition, numerous reports on this subject are available through FPInnovations’ online library.
For more information on water management techniques to control erosion and sediment, contact Matt Kurowski, research engineer in FPInnovations’ Transportation and Infrastructure group.