YCCD Standard Underground Utility Line

Erosion & Sediment (E&S) Control Plan Format



  The following sections A-C detail specific recommendations for improving the submittal and timely review of underground utility line E&S plan drawings and narratives submitted to the YCCD.  For more information on the background and benefits of utilizing the District’s recommended standard plan format see the original YCCD residential subdivision standard E&S plan format.  The attached White Oak Sewer Interceptor E&S plan incorporates all of the below recommendations and serves as a standard plan format model plan for an underground utility line installation.  Additionally, the White Oak Sewer Interceptor E&S plan demonstrates a number of Best Management Practices (BMPs) typical of linear underground utility line projects (see Section D below).  A special thank you to Timothy L. Mellott, P.E. of Mellott Engineering, Inc. for volunteering his time and expertise in developing this model plan.

White Oak Sewer Sheet 1 White Oak Sewer Sheet 2 White Oak Sewer Sheet 3 White Oak Sewer Sheet 4
White Oak Sewer Sheet 5 White Oak Sewer Sheet 6 White Oak Sewer Sheet 7 White Oak Sewer Sheet 8
White Oak Sewer Sheet 9 White Oak Sewer Sheet 10 White Oak Sewer Sheet 11 White Oak Sewer Sheet 12
White Oak Sewer Sheet 13 White Oak Sewer Sheet 14 White Oak Sewer Narrative White Oak Sewer PCSM

 Section A - Plan Drawings

The YCCD offers the following recommendations to improve the submittal and timely review of underground utility E&S plan drawings and details:

1)     First sheet in set to include (with original plan date or most recent revision date consistent with narrative title sheet):

(Please note that given underground utility E&S plans typically serve two purposes – as E&S plans and as the final construction plans -  the plan preparer has sheet 1 as his construction drawing cover sheet and sheet 14 as his construction detail sheet (ex. sanitary sewer manholes, etc.) that are not a required component of E&S plans.  Sheets 1 and 14 were removed consistent with the standard plan format which recommends eliminating information which is unnecessary or not applicable to the E&S plans. However, by simply adding sheets 1 and 14 to the E&S plan set, the plan preparer has a full construction drawing set.

            ▪ Location map – Locate on first sheet in upper right hand corner.  Fold plans to expose location map.

            ▪ Drawing index – i.e. a Table of Contents

            ▪ Mapping legends – right side of sheet

      -  site features legend

      -  erosion and sediment control legend

            ▪ Maintenance program   Standard notes # 20-22

            ▪ Standard erosion and sediment control note section

                - List Standard notes # 1, 2, 7, 23-27

                - All notes not applicable to the project at hand should be removed from the plan drawings.

- Refer to the District’s standard plan notes and technical plan review checklist for recommended locations of all other

                  standard notes.


            ▪ Site-specific construction sequence.  Left side of sheet. 

 - Standard notes # 5 & 6 should be listed prior to the construction sequence.

 - Standard notes # 3 & 4 should be listed as stages 1 & 2 of the construction sequence respectively.

- Standard BMP installation & maintenance notes should not be placed within the construction sequence. 

- The construction sequence should be a straight forward logical and practical staging of site-specific BMP installation prior to each stage of earth disturbance activity. The simpler (less “wordy”) the better.  Contractor-input is always recommended.

- Lettered sub-stages are recommended for construction activities that may occur independently (ex. separate drainage areas) and simultaneously.

- Construction sequencing is broken up into sections based on clearly identifiable landmarks (ex. manholes) and available access points to limit the time and extent of disturbance and to limit the impact to streams and wetlands being crossed.

- Provide a separate detailed construction sequence for all stream and wetland crossings.  The District recommends locating the sequence with the stream/wetland crossing details or blow-ups.

             -  Standard notes #8 & 9 should be listed at the end of the construction sequence.

          ▪ Resolutions to the identified site-specific soil limitations.

            - List only site-specific soil resolutions

▪ Stabilization specifications

-          standard stabilization notes # 17-19 (See White Oak Sewer Interceptor plan for modified note #19)

-          topsoil replacement instructions

-          surface roughening instructions

-          straw mulch anchoring instructions

-          permanent seed, lime, fertilizer, and mulching (include seeding dates and seed mixes for varying site     

      conditions – ex. wet areas, steep slopes, etc.)

-            temporary seed, lime, fertilizer, and mulching


▪ PA One Call Decal and phone number

▪ DEP Approval Stamp – leave at least 3” by 4” space in lower right corner for placement of approval stamp.  Fold plans to expose stamp.

2) Second sheet to serve as an overview sheet of the existing conditions of the entire project.

           ▪ Soils legend and locations

            ▪ Existing contours and land use (ex. woods, fields, etc.)

            ▪ All existing improvements

            ▪ NPDES permit boundary = outside construction easement line whether the temporary or permanent construction


▪ All Waters of the Commonwealth including 100 yr. floodway boundary.         

           ▪ North arrow (upper left corner)

3) Third sheet + to include 1”=50’ scale or larger scale drawings with:

            ▪ Sheet matchlines

            ▪ Station numbers along the entire length of the project.

            ▪ Existing contours with maximum 2’ contour interval.  Proposed contours are only needed where the final grade changes from

   the original grade.

            ▪ All proposed improvements and BMP locations

            ▪ All waters of the Commonwealth

            ▪ North arrow (upper left corner)

            ▪ Limits of disturbance = outside construction easement line whether the temporary or permanent construction easement

            ▪ Pipe profile (located at bottom of each sheet) showing concrete encasement at stream crossings and trench plugs at wetland



4) Clearly label the plan drawings as “Erosion and Sediment Control.”

5) Construction details should be placed after the 1”= 50’ scale or larger plan drawings.

6) Use the standard E&S construction details provided in the E&S Program Manual (with site-specific modification(s) as necessary).  .

7) Place all standard BMP installation and maintenance notes with the relevant BMP standard construction detail.  Avoid placing notes in long lists separate from the standard construction details.

8) Keep all BMP construction details grouped together and on the same sheet when possible. 

9) Avoid using all capital letters on the plan drawings which are difficult to read and give the appearance of “shouting” at the contractor. 

10) Utilize Arial font for easier to read text.  Make sure the font is large enough to easily read in the field.

11) Avoid use of excessive “flags” that clutter the plan drawings.

12) Avoid the use of cross-hatching to represent the application of an erosion control blanket on steep slopes.  Recommend that a light shading be used in lieu of cross-hatching on slopes.

13) Utilize “blow-ups” of critical areas such as stream crossings and other heavily detailed areas that are difficult to read.

14) Use color to make the drawings more legible.


Section B - Plan Narrative

The YCCD offers the following recommendations to improve the submittal and timely review of E&S plan narratives:

1) Organize the plan narrative in order with the  technical plan review checklist (11 required items).  The narrative should be composed of the below 7 bulleted items and little else.

  Title Sheet with original plan date or most recent revision date consistent with drawing sheets

  Plan preparer’s name, contact information, and qualifications (click for sample in Word format)


            -          Discuss project location and nature of project i.e. proposed land use   (improvements)

-          Brief summary of the BMPs to be utilized so an untrained third party could understand concept/intent of plan.

-          Existing land use (s).

-          Past land use(s) (at least past 50 years, discuss any soil contamination/potential pollution issues as a result of past land            use(s).

-          Discuss receiving watercourse(s) and the Chapter 93 and/or existing use designation.

  USGS Topographic Map with project boundaries clearly outlined and offsite drainage areas clearly delineated and identified.

  List of all soil types occurring on the project site with site-specific soil limitations and resolutions. Include copy of soil map from the     county soil survey.  Copies of soil survey descriptions and tables do not need to be included in the plan narrative.

▪ Channel design information (if applicable). 

- Standard Worksheet #18 information for all channels (or) all standard worksheets required for channel design methodology (ex.  TR-55 – Standard Worksheets #2, 3, & 4). 

- Standard worksheet #21 for all channels for both temporary and  permanent channel lining condition.  Channel design software  output/spreadsheets are unnecessary.   

- Channel lining manufacturers’ specifications including permissible  velocity or shear stress.

▪ Outlet protection design information (Standard Worksheet 23 and  Figures 21 or  22)(if applicable). 

            - Include all necessary pipe flow calculations. 

  Alternative BMP design information (if applicable).

  -          Manufacturer’s specs. / independent testing results

2) Use the standard worksheets for channels and outlet protection provided in the E&S Program Manual.  This ensures all the required information is provided and is familiar to the plan reviewer which speeds up the plan review process.

3) Standard notes, standard construction details, the construction sequence, and stabilization specifications are not needed in the plan narrative given this information is already provided on the plan drawings. .

4) Avoid placing and binding the NOI, PNDI, Act 14 notifications, GIF forms, and other NPDES permit information in the E&S plan narrative.

5) Make double-sided pages to conserve paper and file space.

6) Avoid using 3-ring binders which use up valuable file space.

7) Utilize Arial font for easier to read text.

8) Wetland determination letters, delineation reports, DEP permits or completed permit applications, and US Army Corp of Engineers Jurisdictional Determination letters should be submitted as separate documents not bound in the E&S plan narrative.


Section C - Other Recommendations

1) Submit only folded plan drawings (due to District’s filing system and limited file space).  Avoid folding each sheet separately.

2) Submit only one set of E&S plan drawings and narrative with each submission rather than three sets which typically must be disposed of due to necessary changes, technical deficiencies, and limited file space.  If additional sets are needed for review by the public, the District will contact the plan preparer for additional clean sets.

3) Provide specific page numbers and locations of information on the NOI checklist.

4) Use the most current NOI form and District plan review application forms.

5) Use the Technical Plan Review Checklist dated 6-18-07 to ensure submitted plans are technically complete.

6) When re-submitting revised plans, highlight the revisions/additions on the District’s copy and provide an item-by-item detailed response letter.  Also highlight any other revisions made that were not requested by the District.

7) Submit half-size plan drawings (as long as legible) upon plan approval for larger projects.  Half-size plans take up less file space, conserve paper, and are easier to handle in the field.


            Section D - Underground Utility Line Best Management Practices (BMPs)

          See DEP’s Erosion & Sediment Pollution Control Program Manual ( April 15, 2000 ) and DEP’s Underground Utility Line Construction Typical Erosion & Sediment BMP’s ( August 1, 2001 )(Document 363-2134-012) for recommended BMPs.  The following list includes some (but not all) of the approved BMPs proposed in the White Oak Sewer Interceptor E&S plan:

1)     The temporary construction easement serves as the limit of disturbance and NPDES permit boundary.  A note is placed on the  plans (prior to the construction sequence) instructing the contractor to limit the clearing and grubbing of any trees and other vegetation within the temporary construction easement but outside the permanent construction easement to only that which is absolutely necessary.  Protecting trees is particularly important within the riparian buffer of streams given trees stabilize streambanks and cool the water by shading.

2)     Construction sequencing providing for temporary straw mulching of all disturbed areas on a daily on-going basis (as trench is backfilled) until soil conditions allow for proper final grading and permanent seeding and mulching/blanketing.  Wet soil conditions are often encountered on sanitary sewer projects (typically located in low-lying areas along streams and in wetlands) which may not allow for immediate permanent seeding and mulching/blanketing due to settling, tire ruts, and over-compaction of the soil.

3)     Construction sequencing is broken up into sections based on clearly identifiable landmarks (ex. manholes) and available access points to limit the time and extent of disturbance and to limit the impact to streams and wetlands being crossed.

4)     The construction sequence proposes the installation of the perimeter silt fence or mulch berm simultaneously with the clearing and grubbing operation (in wooded areas only).  Installing the silt fence or mulch berm prior to the clearing and grubbing often results in the silt fence being knocked down by equipment and falling trees or pulled out of the ground as tree and shrub root masses are being grubbed.

5)     18” standard silt fence (or 30” reinforced silt fence where in close proximity to the stream) or equivalent compost mulch filter socks or mulch berms) is proposed despite the upslope areas (outside of construction easement) exceeding the maximum allowable slope lengths listed in the E&S Program Manual ( April 15, 2000 ).  Silt fence and the combination of other BMPs including very limited time (immediate temporary or permanent stabilization) and extent (maximum width of disturbance limited to construction easement, no cut/fills) of earth disturbance as well as stockpiling of topsoil and trench spoil material upslope of the open trench typically provides adequate erosion and sediment control.  While not shown on the White Oak Interceptor plan, areas of clearly concentrated flows (ex. upslope existing culvert pipes, small intermittent or perennial streams, springs, natural drainage-ways) are typically conveyed across the construction easement via a flume pipe or clean water conveyance channel.

6)     Mulch berms have been proposed where disturbance has been permitted (by DEP) in wetlands.  Field experience has shown that silt fence is ineffective in saturated mucky soils given that the silt fence trench can not be properly backfilled and compacted.  Mulch berms do not require trenching and will naturally biodegrade thereby eliminating the need to remove the mulch berm (or silt fence) and avoiding further earth disturbance to the wetlands after the area has been restored and native vegetation has re-established.   Wood mulch is also a cheap available material generated from clearing and grubbing of wooded sections of the construction easement.   Wood mulch berms can also be utilized in non-wetland areas and used to stabilize sections where grass is not desired or required (ex. cleared sections of temporary construction easement).

7)     Replacement of all original topsoil stripped from the construction easement with no less than 6” depth of topsoil to aid in establishment of permanent vegetation and to promote post-construction stormwater infiltration.

8)     Restoration of all disturbed compacted soils within the construction easement to original soil density to aid in establishment of permanent vegetation and to promote post-construction stormwater infiltration.

9)     Restoration of grading to the original contour of the land (hence why no proposed contours are provided).

10)  The use of timber mats for wetland crossings to protect existing wetland vegetation (root mass) and avoid creating deep water-filled tire ruts.

11)  Hydric soils are segregated and placed back in the disturbed wetlands to promote re-establishment of the native hydrophytic vegetation (via seedbank).  Only a clean straw mulch is proposed to be applied to the disturbed wetlands.

12)  Standard note #19 provided on the plans  has been revised to only require an erosion control blanket in areas of concentrated flows, slopes steeper than 3:1, and within 50’ of the stream at any stream crossings.  A clean straw mulch has been proposed in relatively flat or gently sloping sections of the construction easement (despite being located within 50’ of the stream) given erosion control blankets often entangle reptiles, amphibians, and birds frequenting the riparian zone.



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