Erosion & Sedimentation Control

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Soil erosion and sedimentation of streams is a serious threat to water quality. A very small amount of sediment moves through healthy streams at all times, but is in equilibrium with addition of sediment through erosion and removal of sediment in high flows. Too much sediment can carry contaminants into waterways, reduce dissolved oxygen, smother organisms and their habitats, impair the function of stormwater facilities such as drains and ponds, and build up stream beds (aggrade) making flooding more likely.

Soils in the Chapel Hill area tend to be fairly erodible due to steeper slopes and less soil cohesion. Erosion is increased when vegetation is removed from the land's surface or when the surface is disturbed by digging or movement of heavy equipment. In a steep area, even a small amount of land disturbance can lead to the formation of deep gullies unless steps are taken to cover and stabilize the soil.

More information on our erosion and sedimentation control program can be found on our Regulations and Ordinances page.

Enforcement of erosion prevention in the Town is handled by Orange County Erosion Control. To report problems with soil erosion or sediment accumulation in streams, please contact Orange County Erosion Control at 919-245-2586, or visit their website to contact them by email. You may also submit questions or comments to our email,, or send in a Stormwater Inquiry/Comment form.

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