Erosion Control

A Silt Fence Helps Retain Sediment from Being Washed AwayProgram Beginning

The City of Winston-Salem's Erosion Control Program originated from a State action, which granted local government the authority to enforce the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act of 1973.


Erosion Control Plan

All land-disturbing activities involving an area greater than one acre (except mining, forestry, or agricultural activities) are required by law in the State of North Carolina to operate under an approved erosion control plan. This plan must be obtained before work begins on a site. Although tracts containing less than one acre do not require permits, adequate measures to prevent erosion and contain sediment on site are still required.

Regulation Enforcement

In addition, the Erosion Control Department enforces regulations pertaining to watershed and floodplain requirements by reviewing development plans and issuing grading permits for all commercial and multi-family sites over 10,000 square feet in all areas of Forsyth County (excluding Kernersville). Inspectors also monitor single-family construction sites to ensure sedimentation is controlled.

Floodway Maintenance

The department maintains up-to-date floodway district maps to enforce the floodway and floodway fringe regulations contained in the Unified Development Ordinance. The department also enforces watershed regulations for density and impervious surface coverage on developed properties, review survey and plan information and conduct field inspections to ensure that permitted structures comply with floodplain regulations.

Importance of Erosion Control

What can raise the cost of your water or electric bill? What can permanently close your favorite fishing or swimming lake or stream? What can destroy wildlife habitat overnight? What can change your valuable property into a worthless piece of land? Hint - it is the single largest polluter by volume of North Carolina’s lakes, rivers and streams - and it’s not radioactive waste or spilled chemicals.

The answer - sedimentation caused by soil erosion.

Report Violations

If you suspect an erosion and sedimentation control violation, report it to CityLink311. Call us by phone at 311 or 336-727-8000. You may also email CityLink.


Beginning May 1, 2018, all Erosion Control, Floodplain Development, and Watershed Protection Plan Review Submittals must be submitted electronically.  If you have any questions, please contact Matthew Osborne at 336-747-7453.