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Understanding Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Systems Planning

18 November 2019

Strangely enough, certain soil types possess fluidic properties. If these loose grains are impacted by a turbulent liquid, that liquid becomes a carrier. That’s what happens when soil is eroded. As floodwaters or overburdened river waters impact the loose ground, it’s carried away. At some point, perhaps where the ground rises, the suspended bits of dirt are deposited as sediment. Fortunately, by understanding these fluidic processes, we can control them.

Understanding Erosion Factors

Actually, the planning used here has nothing to do with luck. Hard-learned, the solutions used here are only applied if they come with high success rates. Anything less, well, the erosion control method is put on pause until it’s capable of preventing noticeable topography alterations. First things first, however, what factors make one region more susceptible to soil erosion than another? Obviously, ground disturbances on a building site are not welcome. Compaction work should stabilize the loose soil. A lack of roots and ground plants, a strong ground melt because of heavy snowfall, a sparsely covered mountain ridge above a road or street, all of these factors should be interpreted as potential land wash away effectors. To make matters worse, rain impact is often followed by a strong breeze, which triggers wind erosion, too.

Grasping Land Erosion Prevention Measures

In all, there are four factors to combat here. Soil composition issues are key, but then there’s the curvature of the land to factor in as well. The water and wind impact the land, but these two major terrain disturbers can be minimized by installing new ground coverage elements. This, of course, is something that nature has been doing for millions of years. For erosion control planning, technical service specialists simply give nature a helping hand. There are sandy ground types, which can be mixed with binding clays and water-absorbing soil, but that’s not really a practical approach, which is why ground coverage solutions are more common. Using strong-rooted trees and densely rooted vegetative patches, loose sections of soil become runoff-resistant. After all of the natural erosion control solutions have been exhausted, it’s time for the manmade mechanisms to take over.

There are plastic sheets and matting layers to cover loose soil. If the ground can’t be graded, this action should be considered. If the vegetative layers have trouble becoming established, a service can be hired to deliver nutrients to the plants and trees. Rock check dams, diversion dikes, riprap barriers, all these solutions and more exist to prevent soil erosion. If the sediment does still find its way into the water, siltation problems and topography alterations become probable. Sediment traps should be installed, made of water-permeable fabrics, to prevent sediment transportation.

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