Using Baled Straw To Manage Runoff On Your Construction Site


 On construction sites, surface water management is essential in preventing sediment pollution and minimising risk of prosecution. A lack of planning for this can lead to large fines and reputational damage. There are two main reasons why surface water runoff from construction is a problem. Firstly, volume and rate of runoff is usually increased, providing more capacity to transport pollutants to the water courses. The second reason is the bare soil that is left once the vegetation has been removed is more vulnerable to erosion. Therefore, more sediment moves into the rivers and lakes, polluting the water, harming wildlife and smothering the habitats.

As a result of the challenges faced, it is vital to mitigate the volume of erosion and surface water runoff onsite – And this is where straw comes in! Straw-bales are an ideal material for use for your surface water management plan.

Straw-bale Barriers

Straw-bale barriers can be used to promote sheet flow and reduce runoff velocity, slowing down the process of erosion and improving water quality. They work as a temporary entrenched and anchored barrier, intercepting sediment-laden runoff and trapping sediment from small drainage areas. All whilst allowing water through. Careful anchoring and regular checks are needed and cages can also be used to reinforce the straw. Bales can be used for slope protection in disturbed areas, in minor swales or ditches and also around soil stockpiles. The lifespan of straw bales is around three months, after which they must be replaced or a new barrier placed directly upslope of the old.


Straw bales can also be used a ‘Bunds’ around exposed soils such as excavations and material stockpiles. They can prevent clean water entering and sediment and filled water leaving. The bales divert clean surface water away from the exposed soils which reduces contamination, minimising the risk of pollution and subsequent costs of treating contaminated water.

Straw bales are a perfect solution to surface water management onsite and extremely cost-effective in comparison to other methods, which we know is always important within construction. Utilise our natural resources and get in touch today to discuss how we can support you onsite with our Baled straw.