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New ASTM Soil and Rock Standard Helps to Determine Performance of Temporary Ditch Checks


ASTM Committee ASTM International Committee D18 on Soil and Rock has approved a new ASTM International standard that covers the guidelines, requirements and procedures for evaluating the ability of temporary ditch checks to protect earthen channels from stormwater-induced erosion. The standard, D 7208, Test Method for Determination of Temporary Ditch Check Performance in Protecting Earthen Channels from Stormwater-Induced Erosion, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D18.25 on Erosion and Sediment Control Technology.
A temporary ditch check is a barrier consisting of rocks, straw bales, excelsior logs, wattles, lumber, rock bags, interlocking pre-cast concrete blocks or other materials installed or constructed across a drainage way, swale or other ephemeral waterway to reduce flow velocity, decrease erosion and promote soil retention.
An effective ditch check needs to slow runoff to encourage sedimentation, trap soil particles up stream of structure and decrease soil erosion.
“Sediment control is becoming a focus of regulatory agencies so we must understand the performance capability of the products that are used to combat the problem,” says Kurt Kelsey, Director of Technical Resources, American Excelsior Company.
Kelsey notes that manufacturers, departments of transportation and regulatory agencies would be the most likely users of Test Method D 7208. The test method uses full-scale testing procedures, rather than reduced-scale simulation and is based on conditions typically found on construction sites after earthwork operations have been complete, but before the area has been revegetated.
Subcommittee D18.25 continues to be active in the development of erosion and sediment control standards and invites the participation of all interested parties.
ASTM International standards are available for purchase from Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; or at

For further technical information, contact Kurt Kelsey, American Excelsior Company, Rice Lake, Wis. (phone: 715/236-5643; Committee D18 meets Jan. 28-31, 2007, during the January Committee Week in Costa Mesa, Calif. For membership or meeting information, contact Robert Morgan, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9732;

Release #7461

August 1, 2006

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