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Former L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon:…

How to Keep Your Mud, Dirt and Toxic Waste from Pouring Into the Neighborhood

Ed Begley Jr.’s construction site will keep all the mud and run-off on site.

It’s a common to pass a construction site and witness water running down into the sewer drains, or big trucks carting off dirt that sloshes out and over into the streets.

At the Platinum LEED house that Ed Begley Jr. is building in Studio City near the Los Angeles River, the trucks will have a form of floor mat so that the tires will have the dirt and mud scraped off the bottom of the tires and the equipment before traveling into the neighborhood.

“There will not be a single truck that leaves this site with dirt in it, or brings dirt to this site,” said Scott Harris, vice president of Building Construction Group that is building the world-class environmental house in Studio City.

Some neighbors passing by, who said they were friends of Rachelle Carson-Begley, Ed’s wife, came in to look around and see the progress. They were delighted that the plans were to keep the large spreading live oak tree at the front of the property.

And they also liked the fact that the mud and run-off won’t pour into their street.

The gravel pit, sand bags and the netting system in the work pits lined with coconut fiber cost an extra $12,000 for the Begleys to keep the material inside the grounds. The maintenance alone for these pits are about $1,000 a month, according to the builders.

“In these pits we will do things like wash paint off, or clean equipment and it will filter out any of the toxins and nothing will go into the neighborhood,” Harris said.

Everything will be self contained in a mound on the Begley site.

“When you see water running down the curb and into the sewer system at other construction sites that is also bringing toxins,” Harris said. “The concrete goes in there and clogs the sewer system and it can be erosive.”

It can be dangerous to animals, too. “The lime that is in the run-off you don’t want to hit the cars, and it can hurt animals if they drink it. We keep that all localized.”

Stay tuned for more updates on the Begley house and how they are doing it, and the On Begley Street series that will explain how to do the house in an artistic, safe, environmentally-sound and affordable way.

Miki Henderson November 03, 2012 at 06:09 PM
It is so important to see how people are doing it "right" to protect our community and our environment at both a local and national and worldwide level. Thank you Mr. B!
Rich Addams November 03, 2012 at 06:11 PM
It's more important to see how he's doing it for the people who live nearby. THank you to The Patch for following this so closely. It is fascinating for me.

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