Erosion Protection during Construction and Beyond

Does your soil have big parallel cracks in it? Are utility poles and trees tilting at crazy angles? Is your land riddled with gulleys? Does rainwater concentrate in one big soil-stripping torrent? Is your house missing its gutters? You could be sitting on a soil erosion time bomb. When the rains come, it's too late to do anything about these problems, so tackle them now.

First, get acquainted with the two types of erosion:

  • Surface erosion, which occurs when water carries the topsoil away
  • Landslides, in which huge chunks of a hillside cut loose and plop down on the land (or house) below

Both types of erosion are potentially very big trouble. Each kind has its own set of strategies for control.

The early stages of your hardscape project probably will involve laying bare large areas of soil. Protecting against soil runoff from your property during construction is mandated by federal law, and the penalties can run up to $5,000 per day for anyone caught with mud slithering across property lines into streets and waterways.

After the job is done, your attention will turn to preventing erosion in the established landscape. Hopefully the way you develop the landscape will put the problem to rest once and for all, but if you live on unstable soil, erosion protection will be an ongoing task. This section helps you handle erosion problems, both short term and over the long haul.

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