By Austin Stiles, Lead Compliance Manager—Iowa/Ohio/Kentucky // 2021-04-07
Erosion and sediment control BMPs can become very expensive with the need to install and continuously maintain or replace them. Vegetation is a BMP that is not only effective in its functionality but also cost. When building or developing, it is critical to phase land disturbance to minimize exposure when executing the building process. By not unnecessarily disturbing areas in advance, vegetation is able to stay in place and act as an erosion/sediment control measure. When construction is completed in a specific area, it is essential to get final stabilization in place. Common vegetative methods include sod, erosion control blankets with seed, and hydromulch with seed. It is important to understand the difference between temporary and final stabilization measures. If final stabilization is not implemented soon enough, it will allow time for erosion to take place which can become very costly to repair.
Vegetation is the most effective form of erosion control. Soil with vegetation has a higher absorptive capacity than bare soil. Roots from plants hold soil in place preventing sedimentation from occurring. Vegetation will also absorb the energy from rainfall and slow the velocity of any runoff caused which results in the reduction of the runoff’s capacity to carry sediment. Lastly, for any sedimentation that has already occurred, grass and other forms of vegetation will act as a filter by slowing the velocity and catching loose sediment.