Water and Sediment Control Basin

A short earthen dam built across a drainage way where a terrace                                ""
is impractical; usually part of a terrace system.

How it works

An embankment is built across a depressional area of concentrated water runoff to act similar to a terrace. It traps sediment and water running off farmland above the structure, preventing it from reaching farmland below.

How it helps

Basins improve water quality by trapping sediment on uplands and preventing it from reaching water bodies.
Structures reduce gully erosion by controlling water flow within a drainage area. Grass cover may provide habitat for wildlife.

Planning ahead

Will basins be part of an existing terrace system?
Is the site too steep for the basin to work properly or be economically feasible?
Can adequate outlets be provided?

Tech notes

The uncontrolled area draining into the basin must not exceed 50 acres. *
Build the basin large enough to control the runoff from a 10-year storm without overtopping.
Install a tile or infiltration outlet. *
Use fill material free if sod, roots, frozen materials and stones larger than 6 inches in diameter. It should also have correct moisture content
for adequate compaction.
Spacing for water and sediment control basins depends on the land slope, tillage and management system. Consult NRCS for recommended


Reseed and fertilize as needed to maintain vegetative cover.
Check the basin after each large storm, and make any needed repairs.

* Check local recommendations.