How to Manage Erosion Along a Shoreline
Erosion along a shoreline caused by water can be enormously problematic for many building sites, for two reasons:
- It creates difficulties with the overall building process
- Government legislation will typically call for the implementation of suitable erosion and sediment control solutions to protect debris from contaminating local water supplies or running into other nearby surrounds
Thankfully, there are several solutions available to construction companies that help ensure effective management and mitigation of erosion, provided the best strategies are employed at the most desirable times within the construction process. These erosion management solutions utilise manufactured or organic materials to minimise soil issues along shorelines. While some solutions make use of eco-friendly products, others help provide longer-lasting erosion protection, while also being beneficial to surrounding fauna species.
Jute and Coir Matting
Jute and coir matting is comprised of tightly spun fibres of coconut husk. The material is supplied in roll form and is able to be quickly and easily deployed along the shoreline, thwarting the erosion that frequently occurs on newly excavated, slanted earth deposits. Occasionally, plant life can be installed below the matting, such that they eventually penetrate through the material and become interlaced with the fibres. While there are alternative styles of matting that are composed of non-organic products, the jute and coir matting variety is 100% biodegradable and will not damage the surrounding landscape.
Jute and coir matting is often deployed along shorelines of smaller sized natural reservoirs that have a steady water altitude.
Note – it’s strongly advised to never use jute and coir matting along water reservoirs that ferry substantial volumes of debris, as non-purities caught within the material will devastate all plant life that has managed to grow through it.
The benefits of using jute and coir matting:
- Effortless to install
- Eco-friendly materials
- Easy to maintain
Brush bedding, also termed brush matting, is a technique for safeguarding shorelines through the use of brush clippings, clusters of twigs or similar organic materials, and palings to wrap and secure the shoreline. Assembly requires the careful deployment of heavy duty matting made from inactive brush clippings along the shoreline, while securing them with the palings. Over time, the clippings penetrate into the earth and steady the material. This method is typically implemented in conjunction with other erosion and sediment control solutions.
This solution is perfect for trapping debris deposits that are transferred along the water by rainfall. The downside is that the clusters of twigs can be demolished if the rainfall is powerful enough.
The benefits of using Brush Bedding:
- Perfect for water reservoirs that have access to ample daylight, which enables the brush clippings to rapidly grow
- Rapid install process
- Eco-friendly materials
- Easy to maintain
Gabion Cages and Rock Mattresses
Gabion cages and rock mattresses employ the use of naturally occurring rocks with prefabricated mesh wiring. This solution comprises baskets that consist of heavy-duty, steel wire network, tightly packed with rocks. The word gabion is derived from the Italian word which translates to ‘large container’. Gabion cages are ideal for providing effective protection to shorelines in locations where erosion is very likely to transpire and where the shoreline consists of diminutive stones that repel water flow energy. Gabion cages are not the most visually appealing erosion management solution and there is a chance that the steel membrane’s integrity can become comprised.
Gabion cages are particularly versatile and are able to be deployed virtually anywhere, but attention must be paid in locations that are vulnerable to accelerated rates of erosion and volatile water streams. It’s also essential that particular care is taken when planning the size and configuration of the foundations.
While there are some disadvantages of using gabion cages, there are plenty of benefits as well:
- They can be placed in water to help direct water flow
- Heavy-duty solution that can withstand powerful water discharge
- Perforated design features help reduce water speed
- Are completely hidden from sight when placed in water along the shoreline
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