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What is Soil Erosion Control & What Methods Are Most Effective?

Erosion Control

Topsoil is like time. We never seem to have enough of it. Soil erosion is to blame.

Topsoil erosion is a common problem faced by farmers, agricultural workers, landowners, and even by gardeners and homeowners.

It is estimated that we lose around 1% of our topsoil each year. Many of those cases are completely avoidable. Erosion can occur because of climate change, poor land management practices, and excessive tillage, just to give a few examples.

Soil erosion occurs faster and in more abundance on hills. When combined all over the world, the erosive phenomenon contributes to devastating global decline.

Soil erosion is impactful to plant growth, water quality and can destroy entire ecosystems by increasing water temperature and choking aquatic wildlife.

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What is Erosion Control?

Erosion control is the science of reducing soil loss, which in turn prevents dangerous water pollution and protects valuable property.

The type of erosion control used depends on the extent of missing soil and the environment. The cost of the control measure is also a factor. Urban areas may require stormwater runoff management efforts while construction areas may turn to mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) walls to prevent erosion on waterway embankments and manmade drain channe

Erosion Control Solutions

There are a variety of methods for preventing or slowing the progress of soil erosion but only a few offer permanent solutions. Other, more temporary types, like garden terraces, retaining walls, sandbags, and plantings, will need to be replaced soon enough. Permanent solutions keep the area and the environment protected year after year.

Here are some of the most popular permanent soil control measures.

Articulated Concrete Blocks

These heavy revetment system blocks are constructed in various thicknesses and shapes. The idea is to create a grid of interconnecting blocks able to control heavy amounts of soil erosion.

Geotextiles

This erosion control product is both effective at controlling soil loss and improving soil quality. Geotextiles are commonly used over earth-retaining structures, pipelines, and roadways. There are a variety of types of geotextiles. Some have an open mesh weave while others have a closed fabric or nonwoven surface. The type used is based on the desired filtration, sealing, reinforcement, and drainage.

Flexamat

Flexamat represents the next generation of erosion control technology. The system is biodegradable and provides both non-vegetative and vegetative cover where required. Composed of soil control mats, these erosion blockers prevent and reduce soil for a variety of environments, such as airports, drivable surfaces, and agricultural lands.

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Why Do You Need Erosion Control?

Soil erosion causes immediate problems like exposed tree roots, bare areas on the lawn, and gullies forming in sloped areas on your property. Over time, erosion can leech vital nutrients from the soil, making it difficult for crops to grow. Silt could build up at the bottom of driveways, and generations of marine life might be killed off.

Effectively controlling erosion requires you to consider all the factors involved. The incline of the slope, soil composition, drainage, sun/shade, and irrigation can all determine which type of erosion control is necessary.

Throughout history, experts have been searching for ways to keep topsoil intact. Everything from crop rotations and hydroseeding to reforestation have been attempted. These days we have permanent solutions that are eco-friendly and that won’t let you down. Flexamat is one of those erosion control measures.

Once you know the source of your erosion, controlling it is the next step. Flexamat erosion control mats provide permanent control for all types of erosive activity. Learn more by calling (513)772-6689.

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