Builders move a lot of earth on the job site, but not always intentionally. When the ground erodes as a result of construction activity, it can have a significant impact on the surrounding area. By impacting the land in a number of ways, crews make it more vulnerable to erosion from wind, water and movement. Grading and filling have the potential to significantly degrade soil quality, and sediment can wash down into nearby water sources. This can have a devastating impact on wildlife and vegetation, causing rampant environmental harm. This is why contractors have a responsibility to figure out how to prevent soil erosion during construction.
How Does Construction Affect Soil Erosion?
How does construction cause soil erosion? Look no further than the equipment crews bring to the site. Most activity involves large-scale machinery that digs and tears into the ground, even when it’s not intended to do so. This can strip away grass and other plants that hold dirt in place with their root systems. Changing the grade of a plot also makes areas more susceptible to losing sediment due to rainfall or wind gusts.
How Can Builders Prevent Soil Erosion?
Contractors have several options when it comes to soil erosion and prevention. Here are some of the most common and how they work:
- Articulated concrete blocks — These have joints that fit together. Because they can conform to the shape of the land, they are effective at holding soil in place and are typically used along waterways and drainage channels.
- Earth walls — Made of precast concrete and filled with granular soil, these can function well as a means to prevent soil erosion on slope
- Turbidity barriers — These utilize geotextile membranes that float on the surface of lakes, rivers or streams. They’re anchored to the bottom with weights, holding the earth back from the body of water.
- French drains — These underground pipes carry water away from project sites before it can carry away dirt from the area.
- Soil nails — These are driven into the sides of hills to prevent slope failure. They are typically capped with facings that resemble retaining walls.
- Riprap — In areas where there is a high degree of concentrated runoff, this technique can be very effective. Large stone aggregate is poured onto geotextile membranes to keep the ground from being carried away by water.
- Timber mats — When used as temporary roadways, hardwood access mats can be an effective way to control soil erosion because they protect sensitive wetlands and other ecologically fragile areas.
As a recognized leader in timber mats, YAK MAT has an extensive selection of products that can solve multiple building challenges. Our network of partners across the country enables us to have inventory close to you no matter where you’re working. For more information or to receive a quote, get in touch with us today.