Erosion Control Facts and what it means to your business, Erosion can be caused by wind or rain it is also indirectly caused by human activities, for example, deforestation.

Therefore, the key solution is reforestation. Erosion control is very important for many reasons: protection of roads and traffic, drainage canals, water bodies, fertile soils, etc. Common methods of erosion control are described further in text.

Mulching is a temporary method where materials such as grass, hay, woodchips, wood fibers or straw are placed on the soil surface. Mulched areas must be often inspected to find where mulched material has been loosened or removed. Mulch materials can be easily blown away if not secured. This kind of erosion control may disable germination of seeds since mulch reduces the soil surface temperature. It is also a mechanical obstacle for a plant to grow and obtain sunlight. Some mulch materials may absorb nutrients necessary for plant growth. For all these reasons, mulching is not compatible with reforestation.

A special type of mulching often used is stone mulching. A 25 mm thick layer formed of gravel smaller than 13 mm can resist wind velocities up to 137 km/hr. There is also required certain particle size distribution in order for this erosion control method to be affective:

  • Gravel smaller than 4 cm 100%
  • Gravel smaller than 2.5 cm 60-90%
  • Gravel smaller than 0.6 cm 0-20%

Covering with geotextiles is one of the erosion control methods. Geotextiles are porous fabrics manufactured by weaving or bonding fibers made from synthetic materials. Many synthetic geotextiles are sensitive to light and must be protected prior to placing. Regular inspections are needed to determine if cracks, tears, or breaches are present in the fabric and appropriate repairs should be performed. Effective control is possible only if firm and continuous contact is established between material and soil.

GRT Enviro Binder is an organic soil conditioner based on a water-soluble polymer. This product can be added to irrigation water to reduce sand movement by agglomerating soil particles that would otherwise be carried away by wind. There are numerous benefits of GRT Enviro Binder application. Material treatment with this conditioner results in a stable porous structure. The porosity keeps water, nutrients and plant protection substances in the place for longer periods which leads to decreased need for these elements. It also enables equal distribution of these elements in the ground. Additionally, it improves germination rate of plants. Desirable result can be achieved with small quantities of this product leading to cost efficiency associated with the cost of the product, less frequent needs for transportation and application equipment.

Landloch Pty tested GRT Enviro Binder at a rate of 100 ml/m2 to sandy loam topsoil on test plots that were set by gradients of 10, 20 and 30%. Rainfall was applied at energies and intensities consistent with storms in subtropical climates. Event durations were 15 minutes at increasing intensities of 70-85, 100-105 and 140-160 mm/hr.

Key findings of this study are:

  • None of the rainfall intensities and overland flow energies applied caused significant soil erosion
  • Under overland flows the GRT Enviro Binder remained intact until a critical flow shear stress of approximately 25 Pa was exceeded

The testing showed that the GRT Enviro Binder product controlled erosion effectively across a range of erosive forces. Measured infiltration rates indicate that the product is capable of increasing rates of infiltration into the soil by up to 30 mm/h relative to a bare, unprotected surface.

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