Using RUSLE2 on Construction Sites

Presented by: David T Lightle, CPESC

Education Track: Erosion and Sediment Control
Course Length: Full Day
Credit: 7 Professional Development Hours
Technical Level: Intermediate

Federal and State regulations are increasingly requiring the use of erosion prediction models and tools to evaluate the off-site erosion and sediment deposition impacts of construction activities. This live, 2 to 3 day intermediate course covers all the material of the 1 day introductory class but goes into more detail in specific areas such as editing the construction period management description or timeline, covers more support practices such as diversions, terraces, vegetative barriers and filter strips, and covers complex slopes with several grade changes, soil changes and management segments along the overland flow path. A localized custom database is utilized to facilitate making runs on local construction sites. Where possible a 4 to 6 hour field trip is made to local sites to learn data collection techniques for slope length and grade, pre and post construction soil conditions and vegetation coverage. The final day includes a discussion and interpretation of the local construction site permit treatment criteria and making a series of RUSLE2 runs to describe pre construction erosion and sediment delivery rates as well as those of several treatment alternatives on 3 or 4 sites.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Accurately describe the basic water erosion processes.
  2. Describe the basic RUSLE2 structure used to model sheet and rill erosion.
  3. Accurately collect site information necessary for selecting and customizing user inputs.
  4. Use the RUSLE2 construction site profile screen to select the 6 user inputs and customize them to accurately evaluate the effects of each variable on complex slopes.
  5. Accurately describe the local construction site permit treatment criteria and make a series of RUSLE2 runs to meet these criteria on 3 or 4 local sites.

Interested in this course? Please contact IECA Education at: education@ieca.org | 303-640-7554




Presented by David T Lightle, CPESC

Dave Lightle is originally from Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1967. He joined the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (Formerly the Soil Conservation Service and held various county state and regional positions as a Soil Conservationist and Agronomist over his 44 year USDA career. Prior to retirement in 2010 he worked as the Agronomist on the USDA, NRCS, Soil Interpretations Staff at the National Soil Survey Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. In that position he served as national database manager for erosion prediction models (RUSLE2 and WEPS). In addition he was the lead contact for the RUSLE2 model for NRCS. He also developed of the Soil Conditioning Index, the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating and other tools used by staff in the 3000 NRCS field offices.

In September 2010, Dave became a private consultant specializing in RUSLE2 training, database development, user interface customization and RUSLE2 support. Dave has conducted training workshops on adapting RUSLE2 for use by two Canadian provinces and assisted them in implementing RUSLE2 by customizing the model and databases for use in Canada. In addition, as a part time employee of by Brown and Caldwell in Walnut Creek, California, Dave customized RUSLE2 for use by Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation in 2011. He provides training, develops custom databases, custom screens and printing options and assists clients in the use of RUSLE2 on construction sites. Among his clients and their consultants are: Idaho Transportation Department, Southern California Edison, Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Savannah River Site, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

In his consulting work Dave has utilized a new modified version of RUSLE2 containing new perennial vegetation modeling science to develop a specific database and custom user screens and access controls for each customer. Dave has developed specific RUSLE2 user screens for construction site users. He has also developed numerous new sediment barrier practice files, new mulch and commercial erosion control blanket files and new management files to represent common Best Management Practices required by Caltrans and Idaho on their road and highway construction projects.

Dave previously has presented RUSLE2 training at Environmental Connection 2009 and 2010 as a co-instructor, and at Environmental Connection 2014, 2015 and 2016 as the primary instructor.

IECA is the foremost organization for those involved in or concerned about soil erosion control. Membership (in IECA) tells others you take erosion control seriously and you want to help make a difference.

Scott Velting, CPESC, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA