Erosion Control Issues at 2003-2005 Melridge, Austin, Texas

Return to index of erosion control failures

  Event 6 - 09 Jul 2018
  Event 5 - 04 May 2018
  Event 4 - 12 Apr 2018
  Event 3 - 07 Apr 2018
  Event 2 - 28 Mar 2018
  Event 1 - 25 Mar 2018

2003 & 2005 Melridge are located in the Barton Springs Zone as shown in the map to the right. The previous owner of 2003 & 2005 Melridge acquired this property and the property at 2001 Melridge in a quit claim deed dated 09 Dec 1977. In 2014, this owner of 2001/2003/2005 Melridge attempted to subdivide the two properties into three lots. The Master Comment Report for this subdivision required it to meet the SOS requirements including impervious cover restrictions and water quality ponds. The subdivision application expired without action being taken. On 16 Jun 2017, the 2003 & 2005 Melridge property was sold to the current developer. The 2003 & 2005 Meldridge property was still one unsubdivided lot with a two-family residential use consisting of two dwellings (a single-family dwelling and a duplex) on two tracts and was still in need of subdividing to create two separate properties. On 24 Jul 2017, a month after the property was sold, the previous owner filed a new warranty deed to retroactively replace the quit claim deed dated 09 Dec 1977. This new deed retroactively created three separate parcels instead of two. Thus, the new owner claimed that the parcels existed in their current configuration on August 8, 1992 even though they did not until the retroactive replacement deed of 24 Jul 2017. On 24 Jul 2017, the City issued a Land Status Determination for 2003 & 2005 Melridge excepting it from the requirement to plat. As a result, the developer was able to circumvent the SOS ordinance and the more restrictive impervious cover limits. While the deed maneuver may have been technically legal, it certainly did not meet the spirit of the SOS ordinance.

This site is also in the Water Quality Transition Zone of the Barton Springs Zone, and LDC § 25-8-482(B) prohibits development in a water quality transition zone that lies outside the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, except for duplexes or single-family residential housing with a minimum lot size of two acres. The properties at 2003 and 2005 Melridge do not have a minimum lot size of two acres. LDC § 25-8-482(B) is not subject to the same SOS exception, so it is not clear why this part of the code was not applicable.

Regardless of whether LDC § 25-8-482 is applicable, special attention should be paid to development, and particularly erosion control, within the Water Quality Transition Zone of the Barton Springs Zone. This site has significant slope. If sediment in runoff is not prevented from leaving this site with adequate erosion controls, it will immediately enter Little Zilker Creek and a critical water quality zone, through the storm drains. The photos on the following pages demonstrate the issues related to this site and the potential for sediment leaving the site. This site has been reported to the City on multiple occasions. The events are arranged in reverse chronological order with the most recent event first below.


Location Map


Event 6 - 09 Jul 2018

This site was reported to the City for the sixth time on July 9, 2018.


Photo 1 - no controls across entrance; muddy runoff leaving site over mulch

Photo 2 - crushed silt fence and muddy runoff running under fence

Event 5 - 04 May 2018

Photos 2-5 were taken at the end of a rainfall event. Comparison of Photo 1 and Photo 2 shows how much sediment was washed off of the site. In Photo 1 (taken prior to the rainfall event), you can see how much loose soil is mixed in with the rock. In Photo 2 (after the rain), basically all that is left is the rock. The loose soil has been washed away, much of which is still visible in the gutter. Photos 6-9 were taken two days after the rainfall event. This site was reported to the City for the fifth time on May 7, 2018.


Photo 1 - taken on April 30, five days earlier than the rainfall event

Photo 2 - mulch sock does not extend all the way across entrance; gaps between mulch sock and silt fence

Photo 3 - muddy water and sediment visible in gutter

Photo 4 - sediment collected to top of mulch sock and overflowed

Photo 5 - sediment collected to top of mulch sock and overflowed; sediment visible in street

Photo 6 - taken on May 6, two days after the rainfall event

Photo 7 - taken on May 6, two days after the rainfall event

Photo 8 - taken on May 6, two days after the rainfall event

Photo 9 - taken on May 6, two days after the rainfall event

Event 4 - 12 Apr 2018

This site was reported to the City for the fourth time on April 13, 2018.


Photo 1 - entrance 1 with storm drain immediately adjacent and to the right; no controls across entrance

Photo 2 - dirt and mud in gutter and street (entrance 1); no controls

Photo 3 - mud and muddy water in gutter (entrance 2); sediment has filled in behind mulch socks and overflowed

Photo 4 - mud and muddy water in gutter (entrance 3); has flowed under mulch sock

Photo 5 - storm drain culverts on north side of Melridge entering into Little Zilker Creek

Photo 6 - Little Zilker Creek just downstream of storm drain

Event 3 - 07 Apr 2018

This site was reported to the City for the third time on April 9, 2018.


Photo 1 - entrance 1 with storm drain immediately adjacent and to the right

Photo 2 - mud and muddy water in gutter (entrance 1)

Photo 3 - entrance 2 with storm drain immediately adjacent and to the left

Photo 4 - mud and muddy water in gutter (entrance 2)

Photo 5 - sediment collected up to the top of the mulch sock and overflowed (entrance 2)

Photo 6 - entrance 3

Photo 7 -mud and muddy water in gutter (entrance 3)

Photo 8 - mud and muddy water flowed under the mulch sock (entrance 3)

Event 2 - 28 Mar 2018

This site was reported to the City for the second time on March 28, 2018.


Photo 1

Photo 2 - sediment visible in gutter

Photo 3

Photo 4 - runoff with sediment flowing under mulch socks

Event 1 - 25 Mar 2018

This site was reported to the City on March 25, 2018.


Photo 1 - no controls across entrance

Photo 2 - straw waddles are not a City-accepted erosion control method

Photo 3 - no controls across entrance

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