Businesses and homes all over American have slopes and hills on their property. This can add privacy, or place a barrier next to a busy street. Erosion can also result, once the soil begins to wash away the effects and damages are devastating. Erosion is caused when man-made or natural forces such as ice, water or wind sweep away the topsoil. Severe droughts, rainfall, soil disruption, removing vegetation, changes in natural patterns of drainage and climate change, can all be contributors towards erosion. Every year in the United States, six billion tons of soil gets blown and washed away.
Erosion has a crippling impact. Vegetation becomes difficult to grow, landscapes are destroyed, and mudslides and landslides make terrain unsafe. In many cases, the best possible solution is professional erosion control. Once erosion has washed away the terrain, additional problems may occur. Topsoil is organic and contains nutrients and microorganisms necessary for the land. Contaminants including petroleum products, pesticides and fertilizer can be washed downstream, right into the water supply. Erosion is subtle but must be caught quickly if the process is to be effectively controlled.
The ways to control the procession of erosion are explained below:
Baffles or Barriers
Smaller slopes can be handled with erosion control products called baffles and barriers. These devices either divert or slow the water flowing downhill. They are laid parallel to the hill and are made from timbers or buried stone, that helps prevent erosion.
The Erosion Sock
A silt or erosion sock effectively control erosion. The profile of this device is lower and when filled can be used in place of a silt fence. This device is designed to reduce sediment and water is prevented from moving beneath the ground.
Riprap diverts and slows flowing water. This is accomplished with loose, rough stone used on the slope of an embankment. Ripraps are usually granite and are placed at six to eight inches. The stone can be loosely spread or embedded, and the look is harsh and stark. This can be hidden with rock garden plants or ground covers.
Another one of the effective erosion control products is the Terrace. This is when a stair-step is added to the slope. The layers enable plants to be used between the steps. This prevents water runoff, so it will soak into the soil. This is a retaining wall made from precast concrete block, concrete, stone or timber. To prevent a pool of water at the rear of the retention wall, a two percent slope is recommended.
Plants are a natural option for erosion control. A plant’s roots are the natural way to anchor the soil because they hold in the round. It can be difficult to plant them on a slope.
Turfgrass is one of the best defenses against erosion. The extensive root system of the plant helps bind the soil. Ninety percent of a grass plants weight is contained in the roots. Each plant can grow approximately 300 miles of roots.
There are numerous ways to lessen the effects of erosion, but it must not be ignored. If erosion is not effectively handled, the process will destroy both the landscape and the land. The solution can be an experienced professional, turf grass, plants, terraces, riprap, silt socks, barriers or baffles.
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