Without effective erosion control, multiple soil types are naturally exposed to the physical forces of water runoff. This water strips valuable topsoil and nutrients, can potentially clog up local waterways and causes algal bloom and ecosystem disruption. Soil erosion is not only detrimental to the environment, but poses potential risk off financial loss and land productivity.
Following heavy rain on the soil surface, soil aggregates are broken into smaller pieces, filling the gaps in other soil particles leading to reduced water penetration in the soil. As water can no longer permeate through the soil at a rapid rate, it begins to pool and run along the surface. Over long or steep slopes, vast physical forces of water can be produced which can carve out gullies and effortlessly wash away considerable portions of valuable topsoil. High shear forces can also be a significant issue for batters as they are often relatively steep and a single heavy rain event can cause substantial damage if left unprotected.
Various options are available for erosion control in the market, such as blankets and mesh. Many of these however require significant high-risk labour to install and can be unsightly and costly. Revegetating through hydroseeding and/or hydromulching methods are both practical ways to permanently stabilise soil surfaces, including high incline slopes, and require much less labour and are visually more appealing. Not to mention, once vegetation has established, hydroseeding and hydromulching methods are self-maintaining, provided there is adequate water supply either through moderate rainfall or irrigation. If hydromulching is to be applied during a period of expected high rainfall, the utilisation of a more resilient product such as a Bonded Fibre Matrix or Flexterra should be considered. Both products contain a higher proportion of long mulch fibres and a binding agent, allowing them to become durable against heavy rainfall by forming a hard crust, reducing water run-off.
Alternatively, there is also a heavy duty, long term erosion control blanket; GeoSpray. Australian designed and manufactured, this product has been proven to withstand cyclonic conditions, maintaining its structure while remaining porous and allowing water to penetrate to the soil beneath. GeoSpray can be made to be hydrophobic, which will stop any plant growth penetrating through the medium, while maintaining erosion control.
So if think your next project requires erosion control, consider hydromulching, hydroseeding or another spray-on erosion control solution, such as GeoSpray, as a long term and sustainable way to keep your soil where it’s supposed to be.