Although Utah and Idaho and much of the West is dealing with drought conditions and wildfires right now, that doesn’t mean we can forget about erosion control. Even a single rainstorm can send soil and contaminants flowing into stormwater drains, and oftentimes drought conditions make the problem worse. The team at Erosion Control Services can help you stay in compliance with state and federal laws with our consulting services and tools, including erosion control blankets and wattles.
Erosion & Droughts in Utah & Idaho
Utah is now in “extreme drought” conditions, and Idaho is faring slightly better with a “moderate to severe” drought. As National Geographic explains, the occasional rainstorm during a drought not only does not help reverse drought conditions, it can actually do harm because drier soil is more susceptible to erosion. The rain comes down too quickly for the soil to absorb, and the rain instead washes away the top layer. In fact, such conditions can be responsible for flash flooding.
Trees, grass and other plants help prevent erosion because they strengthen the top layer of soil as well as help retain water. As with the Dust Bowl and other notable areas in Africa, clearing the land caused desertification of the soil. In construction projects, the trees and grass are often removed, leaving the soil below vulnerable to rain and wind.
Here at Erosion Control, we are concerned not with wind erosion, but with helping developers and others prevent stormwater pollution through erosion that can be traced back to their property.
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans in Utah & Idaho
We use a variety of techniques to prevent soil erosion — which ones depend on the results of our evaluation and the recommendations in our Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. For some jobsites in Utah and Idaho, we use erosion control blankets. Erosion control blankets are rolls of synthetic or biodegradable fiber that we use to cover the soil. We anchor them to the ground and they stay in place, working to slow the flow of water down the slope.
Erosion control wattles achieve a similar objective, but are sometimes chosen over erosion control blankets when they are used on steep slopes, or slopes that have recently been disturbed or contoured. We sometimes install the wattles at the bottom of a slope or around the perimeter of a property to trap water, or we may also install wattles at intervals along a slope with the intention of allowing water to flow through them, but to prevent sediment and soil from washing away.
The good part about erosion control blankets and erosion control wattles is that they are an effective but inexpensive solution to the threat of erosion. However, it’s important that they be installed correctly in order for them to get the job done. You have undoubtedly seen both erosion control blankets and erosion control wattles that have been washed out of place and are no longer doing anything to stop pollution from entering storm drains.
Rely on Erosion Control to install your erosion control blankets, erosion control wattles or other tools to help you stay in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency codes in Utah and Idaho. Don’t let your guard down during a drought and open yourself up to violations and fines.