How to Prevent Devastating Erosion With Soil Stabilization

Did you know that an estimated 3 billion tons of sediment erode around the world each year? This erosion affects water quality, fisheries, and ecosystem health. 

Much of this soil erosion occurs naturally. However, things like road construction, commercial and residential building projects, and timber harvesting can also cause erosion. 

Unnatural erosion can have devastating impacts if left uncontrolled. Traveling sediments pollute water sources and interfere with ecosystems. 

Soil stabilization is the key to stopping unnatural erosion. Soil stability means that erosion happens in certain pathways and under a controlled timeline. 

Protect your project and the local ecosystem by employing proper soil stabilization. Keep reading to learn the basics of erosion control.

Soil Stabilization Control Plan 

Controlling erosion on a worksite is not just a good idea, in many places, it’s the law. An erosion and sediment control plan (ESCP) is a document that shows the steps you are taking to deal with erosion and sediment problems at your project. 

An ESCP provides a paper trail to prove that you are in compliance with relevant local legislation and regulations. Also, the ESCP shows that you are:

  • Committed to managing your project responsibly
  • Doing due diligence to the environment and local communities
  • Proactively controlling erosion instead of reacting to it later

By following an ESCP from the beginning and employing proper erosion control techniques, you save yourself the hassle and cost of redoing work down the road. 

Temporary vs. Permanent Stabilization

Depending on the timeline of your project, you may need to enact temporary soil stabilization. For example, in California, soil stabilization must be in place for areas that are inactive for more than 14 days. 

Temporary soil stabilization includes:

  • Application of moisture by water trucks
  • Control through chemical polymers that bind the soil together
  • Use of natural or plant-based binders 

Permanent stabilization means that the exposed ground has been covered by appropriate materials to ensure that soil will not be carried away. Permanent stabilization typically takes place by either vegetative or non-vegetative means.  

Vegetative vs. Non-vegetative Stabilization

Vegetative vs. non-vegetative stabilization is just a fancy way of saying that the soil will either be covered by plants or not. 

Non-vegetative covers typically include the placement of mulch, crushed rock, gravel, or class two aggregate. While non-vegetative stabilization is easy to achieve, it is often more expensive and requires maintenance to periodically replace materials. 

Vegetative cover uses plants to spread out and cover exposed soil. Some plants are better at this than others. Plants that do well as ground cover include:

  • Creeping juniper
  • Periwinkle
  • Grasses like black mondo or border grass
  • Creeping phlox
  • Interrupted fern

While cheaper upfront, vegetative stabilization faces the difficulty of timing growing seasons and choosing proper plants for the climate. 

Adopt and Enact Your Plan Today 

Whatever your project, make sure that you go in with a plan. If you don’t know where to start, a company like BuildPro STL can help. 

As experts in the construction field, BuildPro STL can guide you to proper soil stabilization plans. Call today for a no-pressure, totally free consultation. Happy building! 

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