How to Control Dust on a Construction Site

Control dust on construction sites by wetting the ground.
Control dust on construction sites by wetting the ground. (Image: Andy Sotiriou/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Construction sites can stir up vast quantities of dust from ground cover or the sawing of lumber. Some jurisdictions, especially in urban areas, require construction crews to control the dust, which may affect surrounding homes and communities. Dust pollution causes breathing difficulties and eye and throat irritation in some people. Keep dust contained at your construction site to avoid fines and stop unnecessary air pollution.

Things You'll Need

  • Water hoses
  • Hay bales
  • Plywood
  • Canvas
  • Mulch or straw

Wet areas of dirt with water hoses. Set the hose nozzle to spray and wet the ground thoroughly. Avoid saturating the dirt; spray just enough water to keep dust from circulating, but stop before it becomes soggy.

Place stacks of hay bales on the perimeter of windy areas of the construction site to keep wind from stirring up dust. Other barriers, such as large plywood boards against fences or canvas over a fence, may also reduce wind effects.

Cover the dirt with a thin layer of mulch or straw. Scatter enough of the mulch or straw to stop dust from swirling when equipment or trucks pass over the area.

Redirect equipment traffic to paved areas of the site. Avoid driving over dirt as much as possible.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear filtered masks over your nose and mouth in dusty construction areas.
  • Keep water trucks available to wet the ground cover.
  • Do not use diesel fuel to wet the dust at a construction site.

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