Allowing sediments to get into water can cause health, recreational, and ecological issues. Land and Water outlines the best management practices (BMP's) for sediment control through damming and filtering.

Filtering (porous) products allow water to flow through their matrices with a flow rate of at least 35 GPM/ft². Damming products are dense products designed to pool water in concentrated flow areas.

The article gives examples of damming and filtering devices and explains how they are each specially designed to handle certain conditions:

Filtering products are designed to be porous and allow runoff to flow through them, thus typically there are not bare soil areas up gradient or down gradient of them. This is in contrast to the bare soil areas that commonly result upstream of damning devices that pond water and also downstream of the damming devices because of the scour caused by overtopping. 

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