Common Methods Used For Erosion Control
When it comes to construction sites being more eco-friendly, much of the discussion centers around sustainable building materials, energy-efficient equipment or responsible waste management. What may not receive as much attention, however, is the impact of soil erosion. All the activity and heavy machinery found at jobsites can have a devastating effect on the surrounding ecosystem. When soils are eroded, it can harm vegetation and pollute nearby water sources. This is why a growing number of builders and contractors are paying closer attention to the erosion their activities can cause and are taking steps to mitigate it.
Fortunately, there are a number of methods crews can use in the field that can prevent soils from being eroded away due to water runoff, elevation changes or the movement of large machines. Some of these may require installation directly into the earth, while others are less intrusive. Choosing the right technique for your particular jobsite requires some knowledge of how each of these solutions work and under which circumstances they are best applied.
Understanding Erosion Control Methods
Certain erosion control methods are aimed at preventing soils from being disturbed as much as possible. One of the most frequently used of these is the use of access mats. These heavy-timber mats are used to create temporary roadways and staging platforms for cranes, trucks and other large-scale equipment. They work by protecting soft ground from the intense pressure created by wheels and treads, preventing it from being displaced. Another similar strategy is to use riprap. This involves dumping large stone aggregate over geotextile membranes to help hold soil in place in areas where there will be a high degree of concentrated runoff.
Other types of erosion control feature the installation of walls or barriers to hold the earth in place while work goes on around them. For example, soil nails are steel bars that are driven directly into the soil and capped with facings that resemble retaining walls. Mechanically stabilized earth walls use precast concrete panels filled with granular soil to create a barrier that prevents slopes from collapsing. In some cases, articulated concrete blocks can be joined together along waterways to conform to the natural shape of the embankments to provide the same kind of stability.
Preventing erosion is an often overlooked but crucial element of ensuring your construction site is environmentally sound. For more information about the most commonly used methods of erosion control, take a look at the accompanying resource.
Courtesy Of Yak Mat, a crane mat company