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Erosion control best management practices are usually required during all ground disturbing activity until permanent ground covers are in place. A best management practice (BMP) is a physical, chemical, structural or managerial practice that prevents, reduces or treats the contamination of water or reduces soil erosion.

Erosion prevention BMPs can be the simplest and most effective measures you can take to retain sediments on your site. The following BMPs help protect exposed soil surfaces from rain generated splash erosion and can help slow flows across a site of ground disturbance. All sites should incorporate at least one type of erosion prevention measure when exposed to a ground disturbing activity. Below are some BMPs that can be incorporated on your site.

Surface roughening reduces water runoff velocity and allows for infiltration on site. Roughening also improves sediment trapping and supports the establishment of a vegetative cover. This practice protects soils from contact with stormwater and is typically used when a vegetative cover cannot be achieved due to soils, time of year or where slopes are too steep for mulch. Temporary grasses and permanent vegetative covers minimize erosion and sedimentation by stabilizing exposed soils with vegetation and mulching. This can be as simple as applying seed with straw or hydroseeding using tackifiers. Planting and mulching in groundcovers is also effective at stabilizing soils.

Mulch is a group of organic and inorganic materials that are spread on the soil surface to prevent movement of soil by wind and rain. Mulching minimizes erosion by providing a protective cover over disturbed, bare or reseeded soils. When applied at minimal thickness mulching protects soils from splash erosion while a thicker layer is effective for additional sediment control. Mulches can be applied by hand or utilizing a straw or bark blower or hydroseeder.

Erosion control blankets are mats comprised of organic fibers or inorganic materials held by synthetic or biodegradable netting. Erosion blankets prevent erosion from exposed soils in channels, on slopes or as a wet weather measure. These blankets are typically used when a vegetative cover cannot be achieved due to soils, time of year or where slopes are too steep for mulch. Dust control measures help minimize erosion of bare soils. These can be achieved by utilizing water trucks or hydroseeder with a tacking agent added.

Utilizing any on or all of these erosion control measures can be used with perimeter controls ( next months topic) to improve BPMs for any job site. Remember it takes thousands of years to produce an inch of topsoil and using BPMs is the right choice to protect our soils and waterways. Contact your nearest Finn All Seasons location for help with all of your erosion and sediment control needs.

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