Temporary Stabilization

By Johnathan Clayton // 30Jul2020

Temporary stabilization is a soil stabilization measure that is generally used for disturbed areas of a construction site that have a planned period of inactivity. In Florida, the Construction General Permit (CGP) calls for temporary stabilization to be implemented when an area of disturbed soil will not be active for a period of 7 days or greater. There are many ways to achieve temporary stabilization, some of which include: seeding, sodding, mulching, soil binding agents, erosion control blankets, etc.

When considering which type of stabilization measure would be appropriate, there are a few factors that should be considered. These factors include soil type, length of inactivity, forecasted weather, slope(s) of area to be stabilized, etc. In most circumstances, seeding or sodding disturbed areas is the most practical, least labor intensive and inexpensive option. When sodding an area, the sod guarantees almost immediate stabilization as the vegetation is already established. Seeding, on the other hand, requires time for the germination of the seeds. During the time that it takes for the seeds to germinate, soil erosion is more likely to occur. In circumstances where seeding is appropriate, mulching/erosion control blankets can be applied after seeding to provide stabilization until enough vegetation has established to meet stabilization requirements.

Temporary stabilization is an important step on any project to ensure that erosion and sediment control practices are effective. When areas of soil are disturbed and not stabilized, the potential for soil erosion/run off greatly increases. In high volume rain areas such as Florida, major erosion can occur during a single rain event. The associated picture shows an area of disturbed soil that was not properly stabilized once work had ceased for a short period of time. This erosion occurred in a single overnight rain event. Planning and applying temporary stabilization measures as soon as work has ceased will help avoid soil erosion and costly repairs as well as keep the project site in compliance.