Soil loss is the primary source of sediment loading and results from many different land uses. Fields that are totally denuded of soil cover and crops planted too close to the stream's edge result in advanced compaction and increased weathering of the soil. This practice increases runoff dramatically and also increases the amount of sediment and pollutants from pesticides and herbicides in nearby water sources.

Channelized waterways, increased impervious surfaces, and poor construction practices also lead to increased turbidity. Careful attention should be given to the handling and control of exposed soils in both urban and agricultural areas. Please see examples of best management practices which, when implemented, can help decrease sedimentation and runoff.

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