DRAINAGE & SOIL EROSION Q&A’s
WHAT IS SOIL EROSION?
Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off by water or wind. In addition to the soil, runoff can wash fertilizer and other pollutants along with it. According to topsoil in puyallup most phosphates and pesticides entering Virginia’s waters are attached to these soil particles. Nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers carried by runoff have been associated with many environmental problems. Streams, ponds, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay suffer from algae growth, depletion of the water’s oxygen supply, and suffocation of aquatic organisms. Soil erosion begins with the depletion of the uppermost layer of soil: dust. And to prevent this, Dust control in Australia has almost become a mandate, in a bid to both stop erosion and keep the atmosphere clean, and the use of other home services like a mice and rodent exterminator could also help keeping your home clean and pest free.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF SOIL EROSION?
Everyone recognizes a gully as evidence of soil erosion. Muddy water in your gutter or driveway also indicates that erosion has been occurring. It may only be visible for a time following a rain, but the damage will continue unless something is done, we recommend yo to visit Prime website if you are looking for a reliable roofing company that gives you a free estimate so we may get your project started immediately.
The following are other indications of erosion.
- Bare spots on your lawn or property
- Exposed tree roots
- Small rills or gullies on slopes
- Soil splashes on your windows and outside walls
- Sediment that collects in low areas or on pavement. If you wish to keep the pavement in good condition.
DRAINAGE, WHY DOES DRAINAGE MATTER?
Water always takes the easiest path. Because of this, it is important to understand how and what drainage is in order to find an alternative path for the water on your land.
DRAINAGE ON YOUR PROPERTY HAS A GREATER AFFECT
What drains from your property will affect much more than your land alone. Runoff from your yard is the water that runs across your yard and all the material the water picks up and carries with it. Pollutants in water are frequently referred to as point and nonpoint source pollution. Point source pollutants come from an identified point such as an outfall pipe at an industrial operation. Nonpoint source pollutants come from many sources such as pet waste, leaking or improperly disposed auto fluids, car wash detergent or startchoosing the best soap, or fertilizers from your lawn. Pollutants are carried down into the groundwater table with percolating water draining through soil and disposed. Pollutants are also washed into lakes and streams via surface runoff. Storm drains, along streets and in backyards, lead to local streams. Home lawns and landscapes contribute to pollution when improper water management and chemical application allow fertilizer or pesticide-laden runoff to drain into our water supplies. In some areas, soils are very slow-draining and are referred to as having a high groundwater table. Groundwater tables tend to be at their highest in February and March in Virginia as a result of snowmelt and rains. Reliable
WHAT ARE SOME CLUES AND CORRECTIVE MEASURES?
- Wet Lawns: To help prevent surface water from standing in your property, don’t create or maintain a perfectly flat space. Maintain a slight slope that drains toward a swale, rain garden or storm sewer inlet. Even very well-drained soils may become saturated in a Virginia summer thunderstorm, so try to maintain a slope of 5 percent away from the house and 2 percent everywhere else
- Standing water: If your yard, or some portion of it, remains wet and soggy for extended periods (two or three days following a rain), the natural drainage ways may be blocked or have settled and do not have enough grade to drain. Soggy ground and wet lawns are often the result of trapped surface water with no place to go. Most yards are originally graded so that water flows from the front to the street and from the back to a swale, ditch, or storm sewer. The existing grade of your land may have changed with an added patio, walk, or mounded planting beds (ask your deck contractors for more details), or trees may have grown significantly and their roots raised the ground surface.
- Bare Spots: Excess water is the most frequent cause of bare spots and erosion. If the excess water is moving across your property, it will need to be redirected to a more appropriate area. The redirected water can be diverted to an appropriately planted grassy area, or a drainage swale, (A drainage swale is a shaped and sloped depression in the soil surface used to convey water run-off to a desired location). Regrading may be necessary to the surrounding ground to encourage the water to move where you want it to go.
THINGS TO CONSIDER…
1. Where is the water coming from? Standing rain water? Or is the water flowing onto the property from elsewhere?
2. Where should the water go? Water always flows downhill. Is something preventing the water from draining away? Is a storm drain clogged with debris? Is a drainage ditch overgrown with weeds or full of mulch? Is some man-made barrier blocking the waters natural path?
3. How much water to be handled? Is a wide drainage channel needed or will a shallow channel suffice?
4. How steep is the slope? A gentle slope will have a slow current, while a steep slope will need breaks to slow the water and prevent erosion.
HOW CAN YOU STOP SOIL FROM ERODING?
To solve the erosion problem, you must identify the cause and then correct it with an alternative site design solution using BMPs (best management practices), we recommend to use topsoil to correct any damage left behind the restoration process. BMPs involve measures which accomplish two basic objectives:
- Reduce the amount of impervious surface area, thereby reducing runoff and
- Utilize the landscape to naturally filter and infiltrate runoff before it leaves the development site.
Recommended Site Design Alternatives…
- Natural Drainage Swales: A drainage swale is a shaped and sloped depression in the soil surface used to convey water run-off to a desired location. A drainage swale is designed with a lining of vegetation, riprap, asphalt, concrete, or other material and is used to intercept and divert flow to a suitable outlet. It is constructed by excavating a channel and applying the appropriate stabilization. They can be used to convey runoff from the bottom or top of slope. For swales draining a disturbed area, the outlet can be to a sediment trapping device prior to its release.
- Mulch: Mulching is a temporary erosion control practice in which materials such as grass, hay wood chips, wood fibers, straw, or gravel are placed on exposed or recently planted soil surfaces
- Natural Landscaping: Natural landscaping approaches utilize native plants as an alternative to conventional turf grass. The principal advantage of preserving natural vegetations and utilizing natural landscape designs is the protections of desirable trees, vines, bushes, and grasses from damage caused by erosion. Vegetation provides erosion control, storm water detention, biofiltration, and aesthetic values.
- Permeable Pavers: Permeable pavers are an environmentally friendly alternative to regular interlocking pavers. They allow for water to filter through the surface where it stays in a gravel basin while it slowly filters into the soil. By absorbing runoff, permeable surfaces help to prevent erosion and drainage issues.
- Riprap: Riprap is a permanent, erosion-resistant layer made of stones. It is intended to protect soil from erosion in areas of concentrated runoff.
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