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A silt fence, also known as a sediment barrier or sediment control fence, is a temporary barrier used to control and filter sediment laden runoff on construction sites.  Silt fence is also incorrectly called ‘silk fence’, ‘slit fence’ and ‘black filter fence’.  No matter what you call it, silt fence is a vital BMP (Best Management Practice) in most local and state stormwater handbooks.  It is typically made of a woven geotextile fabric that is stretched between wooden or metal posts and the bottom (or tail) of the fabric is buried in a trench to help prevent undermining of the system. The fabric allows water to pass through, but captures sediment and debris, preventing it from entering nearby waterways and causing pollution.

Silt fences are commonly used on construction sites to comply with local and federal regulations for stormwater management. There are several types of silt fence on the market today and many variations of each.  There are different weight woven fabrics that can be used, different wood post and metal t-post spacing and we also provide silt fence with a wire backing to provide extra support in critical areas with high flow rates.  Terrain Civil offers silt fences for the homeowner as they work on their own projects all the way up to fences that are approved by TDOT, TDEC, TVA, the Airport Authority and many other regulatory authorities.  We even have a complete system replacement for TDOT silt fence with backing, called SmartFence.  It is helping to not only protect our waterways but also reduce our carbon footprint by reducing landfill waste.  Send us your detail and we can help get you what you need to stay in compliance.

In addition to perimeter control on job sites, silt fences are also used in conjunction with other erosion measures at times such as straw wattles, filter sock and Erosion Eels.  This can be in a variety of situations including modified check dams and inlet protection systems.  However they are used, all the types of silt fences need to be inspected and maintained regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and to remove any accumulated sediment. If not maintained, sediment can build up behind the fence and eventually cause the water to over top the fence and cause a release.  We are happy to help connect you with a qualified Stormwater Inspector to help monitor your site if needed.  Just give us a call!


Terrain Civil strives to be a resources in all of your projects,  whether it's simple or challenging.  Our most requested documents can be found here.  From product catalogs to submittal packets, installation guidelines and technical drawings.  If you can't find what you need, please give any of our knowledgeable staff a call at 615-649-8809 or reach out via email to and we will make sure your request is promptly addressed.

Custom Printed Silt Fence


For Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control

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