Why is Soil Erosion Problematic?
For starters, it pays to understand why soil erosion can be so problematic for many jobsites. Simply put, this type of runoff can easily carry away topsoil, as well as other sediments, from the surface and lead to a range of issues.
Not only will it increase the amount of sediment in nearby bodies of water, but it can also make overall runoff into these locations more acidic, giving rise to a range of other concerns. In addition, it can damage plant and animal populations within these regions due to the aforementioned sediment issues, meaning that taking steps to avoid and combat soil erosion is essential for many jobsites.
Furthermore, soil erosion can make certain construction projects more difficult, especially those that involve large amounts of excavation or the placement of new structures. In these cases, the loss of soil during sediment runoff may create additional issues for contractors and other employees on site, meaning that this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat soil erosion, which we'll explore in the next sections of this blog.
Using the Natural Land Appropriately
One of the first key tenets of avoiding soil erosion is to use the natural land appropriately. This may involve reconfiguring or replanting certain areas in order to reduce runoff from occurring, as well as using tree lines and berms to prevent wind-borne erosion in certain cases.
Among the first things to do here is simply map out the space and figure out what the best way to reconfigure it is. This may involve looking at existing topography, existing ecosystems on site and other factors in order to determine how to best utilize the space for erosion control purposes.
The actual soil types that are used for any reconfiguration also matters; for instance, in many cases, it's beneficial to use looser soils at the surface level that can absorb more water and thus be less susceptible to erosion. On top of this, appropriate planting strategies are always important. This might involve using areas with grassy cover and other types of vegetation to reduce the flow of runoff and reduce the risks of soil erosion.
Down related lines, mulching is an important part of any erosion control strategy. This involves the strategic placement of organic materials that can help to absorb surface runoff and hold soil in place during periods where rain or wind may otherwise wash it away.
Mulching should be done in strategic areas, as well as at appropriate depths. In addition, using biodegradable mulch materials is also essential, as this can help to reduce the amount of runoff overall and make it safer for any nearby bodies of water.
As we already touched on above, appropriate planting strategies are essential for avoiding soil erosion. This is where cover crops come into play; these are strategic areas that are planted with a variety of different types of grasses and similar materials in order to reduce the amount of runoff and make it safer for any nearby bodies of water.
Cover crops should be chosen carefully, as certain species may be more effective than others in certain climates. Furthermore, it's important to properly manage and maintain these crops over time, as this may reduce the risk of soil erosion further still.
Stone, Wood or Other Blockers
In areas where cover crops might not be enough or where certain runoff issues may be especially pronounced, using physical blockers like stone, wood or other materials might also be necessary. This can help to reduce the flow of water that is moving through these areas and reduce the risk of erosion, as well as making runoff into nearby bodies of water safer overall.
These are just a few options to consider when preventing and combating soil erosion on various jobsites. However, it's important to note that the exact approach will vary depending on the specific details of any individual job or project. As such, consulting with experts in this field is often beneficial in order to ensure that all safety precautions are taken and that there is no risk of sediment runoff entering nearby areas.
And at Cearley SWPPP, we lead the way in stormwater pollution prevention and erosion control for clients around Ogden. With our team of experienced professionals, you can rest assured that all of your soil erosion-related needs are being taken care of. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!