Spill Containment | What are Oil Booms And How are they used?


As oil spills continue to occur in oceans, rivers, and lakes around the world, increasing environmental concerns are raised as to how to properly clean up and contain these spills. One of the most frequently used items during this process in an oil containment boom. These booms vary in variety and can include absorbents, flotations and more.

What is an Oil Containment Boom?

An oil containment boom is essentially a floating barrier that is deployed around spills to help temporarily contain oil as cleanup efforts are being implemented. These booms are wide-spread in their styles and can include the ability to absorb oil as it is being contained. The purpose of these booms is contain oil to prevent further spreading and contamination, as well as concentrate oil to a specific location to help ease cleanup process.


Oil Boom Styles:

Floating Boom: The floating boom is designed specifically to contain oil. These booms can be inflated with air, used with a built-in foam flotation device, or built with a net system.  These booms can effectively contain oil and prevent it from spreading to the surrounding areas.


Absorbent Boom: The absorbent boom offers the dual ability to both contain and absorb oil in these locations. This allows the boom to effectively surround and absorb to prevent spreading. Absorbing these materials can help further the cleanup process.


Deployment Methods

When containing an oil spill, booms can be deployed in many different methods. Some of the most commonly used tactics include containment, deflection, and exclusion.


Containment: Oil booms used for containment are a common method for water locations that have moving water. These booms are placed around oil spills to contain them and prevent further spreading. Booms should be installed around the spill barrier and deployed perpendicular to the spill for the best level of containment.


Deflection: When containment is not possible, booms are often deployed for deflection. This method includes deploying an oil boom along a spill to deflect the oil to a desired cleanup area. Rather than deploying this boom perpendicular to the spill, these booms should be deployed at a slight angle to help move the oil to shorelines where it will be easier to manage and cleanup.


Exclusion: This type of deployment is used to exclude oil from polluting particularly sensitive areas. This can include areas like under bridges, marshlands or other water sources and wetlands. This type of deployment includes places booms around the area in need of protection, acting as a kind of barrier to prevent oil from spreading this location.


For more information on boom deployment, view Oil Spill Training.


Booms are often successfully used with a boom reel to both increase storage safety and speed up the deployment process.


Oil Spill Cleanup Products

After an oil spill has been contained to a specific area, cleanup often includes the use of several different oil spill cleanup products including skimmers, vaccuums and absorbents. These products are typically used on the surface of the water to help absorb or skim oil for later disposal.


Erosion Control Solutions | Coir Log

When looking for a way to control erosion in areas like streambanks, shorelines, restoration areas, or even slopes, a common erosion control solution has been the biodegradable, all-natural coir log. This coir product features densely packed coir fiber that has been placed into a circular, tube-style outer netting. Acting together, this forms a high strength log that has been used to restore banks and vegetation.

The coir material is well known for its natural look and versatile product use. While it can be used to form such products as coir mats and coir wattles, the coir log is particularly useful in areas that require high strength and continued resistance to waves and water flow.  As opposed to an erosion control mat, the coir erosion control log has a higher height and creates a whole barrier for erosion control and shore stabilization.


Where have Coir Logs been used?


Coir logs are a versatile product that have been used for erosion and sediment control, to reinforce streams and other water areas. Some places you might find these erosion control logs include:
  • Along Eroding Stream Banks
  • Beach Shoreline Restoration
  • Slopes Requiring Re-Vegetation
  • Marsh Areas in Restoration Process
These erosion control rolls are densely packed, allowing them to withstand being stood on or other demanding conditions. While logs on their own can stabilize your area, they are also often used in conjunction with native plants to help leave a stable surrounding area. This helps to provide a long-term stabilization process for after coir logs biodegrade.


What are some advantages to a Coir Log?


Biodegradable: One of the many advantages of using any coir product, is its ability to naturally biodegrade. This particular product has a biodegradation time of anywhere from two to five years depending on your conditions and coir log use. This is long enough to successfully reinforce banks while providing enough time for vegetation to take root.

Natural: In addition to its ability to biodegrade, the coir log also contains a natural quality. The coir fiber used for these logs is produced using coconut husks. This means it will not harm wildlife or other natural resources in the surrounding areas.


Natural Resistances and Abilities: The erosion control log also has many natural resistances including a high resistance to mold and rotting. This has allowed the erosion control log to hold up during long term water use, while also providing a natural medium for plant establishment, quick vegetation, seed holding, deep rooting, and restoration of terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

Dewatering Methods | The Dewatering Bag


Dewatering methods include a wide range of practices including settling ponds, basins, filtering rocks, and even dewatering skimmers. Today we will discuss the method known as the dewatering bag.


This Sediment Filtering Bag is designed to connect to outlet hoses or drains and filter water as it flows into the bag. The non-woven bag retains sediment and silt, while allowing only clean water to flow out of the unit.


Dewatering Bag Construction


Fabric: The dewatering bag is typically designed from a type of non-woven geotextile material. This needle-punched fabric has the unique ability to successfully retain several different fine silt and sediment materials, while still allowing water to flow out of the bag. This has allowed it to successfully function as a filtering device for sediment or sludge laden waters.


Sizes:  Choosing a filtering bag size is generally based on the amount of water being pumped through the bag, the rate at which this water is being pumped, and the type of sediment you are looking to retain.


Bag Placement: While bags are made from a reliable geotextile material, it is still important to consider the location in which you will be placing this filtering device.  These dewatering bags have been placed in numerous locations including some of the following:

  • 20’ Drop Boxes or Dumpsters: This is a common choice for people who wish to transport the bag or water to a different location.
  • Ground: These dewatering filter bags can be placed on ground while operating in a filtering process. Ground cloths are often placed underneath these bags to help support the bottom of the bag and protect it during use.
  • Permeable Surfaces: These bags can also be placed on porous surfaces such as hay bales to help decrease the amount of surface area needed for the bags and improve the bags performance.

Discharge Hose: To insert a discharge hose into your sediment filter bag, make a small incision along the edge of your bag. Hoses can be easily placed into these incisions and then sealed to the fabric by devices such as ropes, clamps, ties, and wires.


Dewatering sediment filter bags are a common choice for applications such as construction site dewatering, sediment removal in small ponds, and trench pumping. They are often used to keep your keep areas in compliance with NPDES and other stormwater regulations.


Debris Boom for Trash And Aquatic Plant Control


A floating debris boom deploys in the water to form a containment area in front of intakes, river openings, or around troublesome aquatic plant areas. These barriers keep debris and pollution in a contained section to prevent them from spreading or growing to other locations. These contained sections can be formed directly around the source of pollution, along shore lines, or around growing plants to keep them in a confined area. Some of the most common places you might find these booms include:

  • Rivers
  • Lakes
  • Power Plant Intakes
  • Ponds
  • Streams
  • Canals

Typical Design of a Control Barrier

Floating barriers have many different styles depending on the type of control you are looking to achieve. Some barriers feature construction from marine treated PVC, while other use galvanized or stainless steel. All booms contain some source of flotation device to work in water conditions.

These control barriers are typically designed to include a top flotation device, skirt, and chain ballast. This balance of floating and sinking keeps the barrier above the surface of the water, while simultaneously keeping the boom in place and functioning as a unified barrier.  Other models include a bottom net for extra bottom control.

The debris boom is one of the most versatile products available and can be used to control a wide range of plants and debris. Some of the most common items these booms work to control include:
  • Floating Trash
  • Tires
  • Plastic Bags
  • Small Timbers
  • Seaweed
  • Jelly Fish
  • Golf Balls
  • Logs
  • Ice
  • Hyacinth, Duckweed, & other Aquatic Plants

How these Barriers can Help Keep Waters Clean

One of the most prominent uses for these barriers is to help keep water areas clean and in compliance with the Clean Water Act and NPDES Phase II. Installing a barrier can help prevent pollution from spreading to wetlands and contaminating large areas of water.

This kind of containment makes polluted areas easier to clean and has saved areas millions in cleanup costs. To clean collected trash and debris, many people choose to use skimmers, pumps, vacuum trailers, and harvesters. See Debris Boom Products.

Turbidity Control for Water Areas


During dredging, piling, and other construction jobs, turbidity control can be essential to keeping your site in compliance and in control of the silt and turbidity produced by your activities. We’ve all seen the black silt fences around roadside construction, but many people wonder how to properly control turbidity in water-based applications.  Today, we will take a brief look at how the turbidity curtain works and what style is appropriate for use.


The turbidity curtain (also referred to as the silt curtain or floating silt barrier) is designed to form a protective barrier that contains turbidity and sediment to your site location. Barriers help to control the turbidity at the source and prevent contamination of waterways.


The floating turbidity barrier typically consists of a long curtain that extends to one foot from the floor of your water location. On the bottom of this barrier is ballast chain that helps to sink the heavy-duty material and keep the device in the upright position. The top usually contains a series of flotation devices that have been sewn into the top of the device. This balance of floating and sinking helps to provide complete coverage from top to bottom in your water location.


When looking for the right barrier to use in your construction location, there are many factors to take into consideration.  Factors include:

  • Water velocity: One of the major distinguishing factors in turbidity control is the waterway in which you will be working in. When demanding forces such as waves and wind come into play, the strength of your barrier needs to be increased to handle increased sediment pressure.
  • Site Conditions and Applications: As important as the speed of your water is site conditions such as the average velocity of wind, erosion control in your area, and general site functions.
  • Soil Type: If the soil you will be producing is contaminated, there is a need for increased turbidity control to prevent this water from entering other systems.
  • Project Duration: The length of your project is often a consideration for turbidity control. The longer your project lasts, the greater the potential for large volumes of sediment. Turbidity barriers need to be able to handle the water conditions in your location as well as the amount of sediment your area is producing.

The following is a brief overview of the three types of turbidity curtains:
  • Type 1: The type 1 barrier is meant for the least demanding applications. It has often been implemented in calm water applications or short term projects. It should not be used in water areas that have waves or high flow rates.

  • Type 2: The type 2 turbidity curtain is a favorite for mild water applications. It has been used during pile driving, demolition work, and silt control in fairly fast waterways. Companies typically recommend that the barrier not be used in water with a velocity higher than 1.5 knots or waves higher than 3 feet.

  • Type 3: As mentioned before, the type 3 turbidity barrier is high in strength for your strongest water applications. It is used in dredging, demolition, and dam repair.

You can also check out all models on this Silt Curtains Overview Page.

Hopefully, this has helped give you a start to understanding the turbidity control barrier. Controlling turbidity is an essential part to having a safe construction, dredging, or maintenance operation. Please don’t hesitate to look into these control measures when handling sediment on your site.



Stormwater Management | Solutions and Products for Clean Water

With increasing concern over the quality of water, more and more people are looking for stormwater management solutions to help keep sediment and pollutant filled water from flowing into drinking water sources, drains, and fresh water streams.
One of the major areas for concern lies around storm water drains and curb inlets. Since these drains are designed to collect storm water runoff, they are often filled unknowingly with polluted storm water that contains contaminants such as metals, sediment, toxins, hydrocarbons and more.  If you’re looking for ways to manage this polluted water,here are a couple of solutions you can consider.
For control around inlets and storm drains, Inlets Guards (shown to right) can be an extremely effective choice. These guards are often made from geotextile filtering materials.
As opposed to other fabrics and metal materials, a geotextile is designed to filter out sediment and hydrocarbons while still still allowing for a good deal of water to pass through the fabric.  This helps to provide a way for clean water to enter the drain, without causing a complete block-up of the area.
If you’re doing construction specifically around a drain, you stand at a much higher risk for large volumes of sediment to enter your nearby storm drain. To help manage this large flow of silt materials, many sites have implemented a type of Catch Basin Insert.
These BMP’s have a witches-hat design and are placed directly into the drain after the grate has been removed. The outer edges of these filtering inserts are then secured underneath the drain grate itself, so there’s no hassle involved during installation. Catch basin filters have a large catch area for collecting and containing sediment.
Another approach people have taken to solve the problem of polluted stormwater runoff is through the use of Low Impact Development (LID). LID uses a series of principles and practices designed to manage storm water by working with nature and surrounding areas. LID can be used on new development, redevelopment or updates to developments that are already in existence.  Some practices you might see in LID include
  • Rain gardens
  • Vegetated Rooftops
  • Rain Barrels
  • Permeable Pavements
With many different ways to manage your stormwater runoff, these stormwater management solutions can help clean up pollutants and keep your water clean and safe for drinking.

The Link Between Soil Erosion and Climate Change



The link between soil erosion and climate change: Many people know about a lot of theeffects of climate change on our earth, but few people know that soil erosion is worsened by global warming as well. While soil erosion is a serious issue and it's something that is becoming more problematic across the world, it's not really in the public eye as a problem caused by a changing climate.   It's certainly not often linked to global warming in the same way that rising sea levels and changing weather patterns are.
Soils exposed for cropping or by intensive grazing are far more easily washed away- that much is well understood and widely talked about, but the rising frequency of extreme weather events that climate change is bringing also has an impact. Studies show that the drought cycle is becoming more severe in many areas and that extreme rainfall events are becoming more frequent- these are well established consequences of climate change. Drought periods reduce vegetation cover even in non-agricultural areas, and when heavy rains do come erosion will be far more severe. Dry, dusty soils are also vulnerable to erosion by wind.
Even in areas where drought is not expected to become a problem, the increased erosive power of intense rainfall events will still increase erosion rates. Research predicts that thenew precipitation pattern will worsen soil erosion even in regions that are not likely to be drought-affected under climate change conditions.
Climate change also causes human adaptation. Cropping rotation cycles will certainly alter as it becomes more profitable and more practical to plant different crops at different times of year or to switch production to another plant species entirely, and some research indicates that these changes in agricultural management will cause even greater soil erosion.
There is no doubt that direct erosion control measures will become more widely necessary (and hopefully more widely available and better understood) as both soil erosion and the effects of climate change get more damaging, but in order to really address the problem of soil erosion, all the drivers will have to be addressed. A move towards more informed and responsible agricultural practices is one part of the solution but the fight against climate change must also play a significant role.
The reduction of fossil fuel use and better strategies for efficient energy use could reduce the severity of global climate change, and they should be considered as strategies for combatting all the potential consequences- not just melting glaciers and increased risk of severe storms but also soil erosion and the problems that come along with it. Every concerted effort towards reducing carbon emissions and every innovative approach to renewable energy productionhelps slow down soil erosion.


Jess Spate writes widely on green topics and works as a sustainable business consultant for companies like Appalachian Outdoors and Fountain Spirit.
This content was distributed by Nathan Brown, personal growth sales consultant and promoter of information about building your own solar panels.
Image credit 1: freeloosedirt via flickr, under a Creative Commons licence
Image credit 1: Soil Science via flickr, under a creative Commons licence

How Will You Celebrate Earth Day 2011?

 Earth Day 2011 (Friday, April 22) is coming in just a few days! Do you know how you are celebrating this year?
Let's be honest, we all love participating in Earth Day, but who has the time to go out and plant a tree, make a special stop at the recycling plant for a tour, or head down to the beach for a clean-up?
The International Erosion Control Associate comes to the rescue with their "Save Our International Land" (SOIL) Fund launched in 2008. The mission of the fund is to "provide a permanent funding source fro programs and projects that improve environmental quality through education, research, and applied technology."
In honor of Earth Day 2011, IECA is offering a quick and easy way to celebrate, by supporting the SOIL Fund. How can you help?
So if you can't make it outside or on site for celebration, take a minute and check out this opportunity to give back on such a special and utterly important day.

Turbidity Curtain Installation in 3 Easy Steps

Did you know that turbidity curtain installation can be done in 3 simple steps? Follow this simple guide for successful deployment!



Prior to installation, when unloading the curtains from the truck, DO NOT cut or untie the vinyl bundle straps before you place them down on the proper space. Find an area with adequate space near the shore where you can place each bundle approximately 15-10 inches apart from each other. At this point, it is safe to untie/cut the bundle straps.

Step 1: Attach the bottom chain of the silt curtain via shackle or snap hook for section one to the bottom chain or rind of Section 2.

Step 2: Slide together the aluminum extrusion and connectors of your type 2 or 3 turbidity curtain (SKIP this step for a type 1 curtain). Insert the toggle pin.

Step 3: Use the rope ties or heavy duty zip ties to tie one grommet eye of one silt barrier section to the aligned eye of the mating section. Repeat for entire skirt depth.

NOTES:
  • The turbidity curtain should be furled/reefed up to the flotation by tying a reefing line around the flotation log. This will make it easier to maneuver when towing to position.
  • When towing the curtain into the water, take care not to allow the curtain to become twisted.
  • Avoid sharp objects or areas that may damage the curtain when deploying it.

Removing Sediment from a DOT Silt Fence

Clay Redding here taking a question on DOT Silt Fence.
A client from Atlanta, GA asked, "I am looking for a DOT silt fence to use as a BMP on my site. How often would I need to remove sediment from the fence? "
To keep your silt fence working at the highest capacity possible, you will want to maintain a strict schedule for inspecting your fence. In general, inspecting your fence once a week is a good practice. You will also want to inspect the fence after a rainfall event. 

When inspecting your fence, you should first check for gaps or tears. If they are visible in your silt barrier, you will want to have them replaced or fixed immediate.
Next you should check how much sediment has built up around the sediment fence. If this amount has reached anywhere from one-third to one-half (1/3 to 1/2) the height of the fence, it needs to be removed.
You would also need to removed sediment more frequently if it is causing your fence to strain.

Got Questions? We have answers! Send your questions our way! I'd be happy to take a gander and provide you with the best feedback I can.
I'm Clay Redding, and I'll see ya down the road!

Watershed Evaluation Efforts Get $1.8 Million from Government

Good afternoon. Terrra Firma here reporting the latest dirt on watershed evaluation.
A press release put out by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada states:
"MIAMI, MANITOBA-Farmers are always looking for ways to improve their farming practices, to increase their productivity and to maintain the sustainability of the environment. The South Tobacco Creek Watershed will receive an investment of $1.8 million to continue its research efforts under phase two of the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) project, announced Member of Parliament Candice Hoeppner (Portage-Lisgar).
"The work done here at the South Tobacco Creek Watershed is well known for its innovation," said MP Hoeppner, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Scientists, farmers, and the local watershed conservation group continue to work together to provide information to farmers about how they can improve their productivity in this unique landscape."
The investment for this project is part of the $14 millionGrowing Forward WEBs program. The WEBs project, the first of its kind in Canada, was established in 2004 at seven small agricultural watersheds in order to better understand and assess the environmental and economic benefits of beneficial management practices (BMPs).
Previous to this study, the costs and environmental benefits of BMPs had seldom been measured. Results from these projects will provide a foundation for understanding the broader applicability of these BMPs within a specific region. Farmers will then be able to use this knowledge to maintain high agricultural productivity, while minimizing the impacts of farming on the environment. Results will also be used in planning future agricultural policies and programming.
Five BMPs were evaluated at the South Tobacco Creek Watershed during the first phase of WEBs and these included: conservation (zero) tillage versus conventional tillage; small in-stream reservoirs; holding ponds to capture runoff from cattle containment areas; annual crop conversion to forage; and comparison of riverbank zone management practices. In phase two of WEBs, these BMPs will continue to be evaluated and a winter bale grazing BMP will be added to study the effect of implementing multiple BMPs.
Over 70 other federal, provincial, academic and non-governmental organizations are also partners in this project which will run until 2013."
I'm Terra Firma and this has been your daily dose of dirt.

What is a TMDL and How Does it Relate to a Watershed Plan?

Afternoon everyone. Last time we met I mentioned TMDLs, and rightly so, someone asked, "What is a TMDL and how does it relate to a Watershed Plan
Valid question, Stephanie! Good old Professor Loam is prepared to answer it.
If a waterbody is impaired, it is placed on the 303(d) list. For each impaired waterbody, a state of tribe must develop an accounting of loads that would result in the waterbody's meeting water quality standards. This is called a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL. 
So, a TMDL is the amount, or load, of a specific pollutant that a waterbody can assimilate and still meet the water quality standards. The load is allocated among the current pollutant sources (point, non point, and background sources), a margin of safety, and sometimes future growth.
The typical steps for developing a TMDL include the following:


  1. Identify linkages between water quality problems and pollutant sources.
  2. Estimate total acceptable loading rate that acheives water quality standards.
  3. Allocate acceptable loading rates between sources.
  4. Package the TMDL for EPA approval.
How does this relate to a Watershed Plan?
Although watershed plans should be holistic and include information on the borad array of attributes, problems, and protection strategies needed in a watershed, plans that include impaired waters should also contain quantified estimates of current problem pollutant loads.


What is a Watershed?

Hey Pals! What's up? Clay Redding reporting and ready to answer your questions, like "What is a watershed?" and "How do you develop a watershed plan?"
Today's question comes from a young reader in Michigan named Michael.
Well Michael, according to the EPA, a watershed is the area of land that contributes runoff to a lake, river, stream, wetland, estuary, or bay.
It's our job to make sure that these waters stay protected, which is why there are watershed plans in place.
Watershed plans are a means to resolve and prevent water quality problems that result from both point source and nonpoint source problems. Watersehd plans are inteded to provide an analytic framework to restore water quality in other waters adversely affected or threatened by point source and non point source pollution. The plans help restore impaired and threatened waters.
A waterbody is impaired if it does not attain the water quality criteria associated with its designated use(s). Threatened waters are those that meet standards, but exhibit a declining trend in water quality such that they will likely exceed standards in the near future.
The steps to developing a watershed management plan are:
  1. Build Partnerships
  2. Characterize the Watershed
  3. Set Goals and Identify the Solutions
  4. Design Implementation Program
  5. Implement Watershed Plan
  6. Measure Progress and Make Adjustments

Want more details on each of these steps?
Ask us about our free Watershed Planning Process White Paper!

Watershed Partnership Pays Off

Terra Firma here with the latest dirt! A watershed partnership is one of the key steps into developing a  plan.
The Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership, in Mineral City, OH, was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
"Huff Run is a 10-mile long stream running from the Morges area in Carroll County into the Mineral City area in Tuscarawas County.  Huff Run has been polluted by acid mine drainage, a byproduct of coal mining in the 19th and 20th centuries."
So why the award?
NRCS hired new employees needing training and thanks to the watershed partnership, the new folks were taught conservation practices through Huff Run.
A tour of the Farr Project and Mineral Zoar Project System were given, as they both treat acid mine drainage.
Huff Run Watershed Coodinator, Maureen Wise, had this to say:
We have been happy to help the Natural Resources Conservation Service with their training and we’re glad to showcase the projects they helped us with and the partnership we’ve had with Crossroads.“
These unsung heroes are to be praised. The efforts of this watershed partnership are making the drinking water (that so many of us take for granted) actually safe to drink.
Are you doing your part?
I'm Terra Firma, and this has been your daily dose of dirt.

Introduction to Watershed Protection with Professor Loam

Happy Monday, friends! Today's dirty topic is Watershed Protection. We've spent the past couple of weeks looking at types of erosion and their effects.
Now, my team and I, will follow the eroding dirt into the watershed.
Watershed protection is the key to keeping our streams, lakes, estuaries, wetlands, aquifers, and oceans clean and safe.
Since there are hundreds of areas that drain into these common waterways, essentially, we all live in a watershed and it is our job to protect it.
Practicing watershed management, using techniques to protect the watershed, not only can we benefit from the outcome, but future generations will thank us.

How Do I Begin to Protect My Watershed?

Watershed protection is as easy as...
  • Reducing the availability of pollutants (e.g. reducing fertilizer, manure, and pesticide applications)
  • Reducing the pollutants generated (source reduction such as erosion control )
  • Slowing transport or delivery of pollutantsby reducing the amount of water transported or by causing the pollutant to be deposited near the point of origin
  • Causing deposition of the pollutant off-site before it reaches the waterbody
  • Treating the pollutant before or after it is delivered to the water resource through chemical or biological transformation

Digging up dirt? Ask us about our free Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan White Paper to be sure you are doing your part in watershed protection!

Environmental Erosion Control is Hog Heaven!

What's happenin'? Clay Redding reporting from the road on environmental erosion control! Today I got to meet with some special friends at an Animal Sanctuary, namely some pigs.
Living safely in the "lap of luxury" at the sanctuary should keep these swine in hog heaven. So why the fuss? The pigs' incline in quickly eroding! I spoke with the director of the animal sanctuary to discuss her erosion control problem.
"I am researching the possibility of using one of your products for erosion control at an animal sanctuary. The sanctuary, where the pigs are, is on an incline and I have been attempting to terrace it to prevent more erosion.
I have tried RR ties but they are so heavy and bulky to move. I see some sort of product the county uses to keep the water from washing the road out...it looks like a tubular net with straw or something similar. 
I am looking for something that is flexible yet effective."
Thinking of the animals and the inquiry, I recommended our coconut coir products.
Coir Products are made from 100% natural coconut fiber. This would be ideal because it is not harmful for the animals, is biodegradable, and provides the best base for superior vegetation growth, which is the best form of environmental erosion control.
The coir logs are compact coir cores which form a Coir Web for superior filtration, covered by exterior coir mesh netting. Coir logs aid in the stabilization and re-vegetation of sites where you encounter steep slopes or exposure to waves along or currents which cause instability on a site.



The coir blocks, which are excellent slope stabilizers, offer better support to soil through their rectangular shape.They make construction of fabric wrapped soil layers easier and provide longer protection.
I also mentioned our selection of geotextile fabric for permanent, non-biodegradable solutions.

Erosion News That Defines Irony

Good afternoon! Thanks for “tuning in”. I’m Terra Firma with the latest dirt in erosion news. Today’s story takes us to Bellingham, Washington where the Nooksack River is making headlines!
This bit of erosion news is a beautiful piece of irony with an ugly outcome.


In 2006, crews installed thirty logs along the river bank and chained them to boulders. Why? The intention was to have the logs protect the river bank and highway, above it, from erosion.
So where’s the irony? The logs are now actually creating the soil erosion.
Seven of the logs have become dislodged about four miles east of Maple Falls. Strider Construction was hired through an emergency contract to remove the troublesome logs. The logs were going to be detached from the boulders and left on the shore for the river to wash away, according to DOT spokesman Dustin Terpening.
Terpening also believes that the remaining logs are still protecting the river bank and highway, as was the intention.
My two cents? Sure. The remaining logs will protect, but for how long? If seven of them became dislodged in just a few years, the others will find their way out too. My prediction is that it won’t be long before the Nooksack River pops up again in erosion news.
I’m Terra Firma and this has been your daily dose of dirt.

5 Deeds That Disrupt River Bank Protection



Good Afternoon! Professor Loam here. So glad to have you with me today as we talk about river bank protection.

river bank erosion controlRiver Bank erosion has several causes with even more factors that can accelerate it. The5 deeds that disrupt river bank protection are:
  1. Flooding
  2. Land Use
  3. Lack of Stream Management
  4. Poorly Managed Sand and Gravel Extraction
  5. Over-clearing of Catchment and Stream Bank Vegetation


river bank erosion controlRiver bank erosion occurs both naturally and through human impact. Rivers and streams are dynamic systems as they are constantly hanging. The natural process of riverbank erosion can produce favorable outcomes such as the formation of productive floodplains and alluvial terraces.Even stable rivers have some amount of erosion occurring, however, unstable rivers and the erosion taking place on those banks are a cause for concern.
Want to see a river bank protection success story? Check out the Tale of Buffalo River!


Factors That Accelerate Erosion:
  • Stream bed lowering or infill
  • Flooding of bank soils followed by rapid drops in flow
  • Saturation of banks from off-stream source
  • Redirections and acceleration of flow within the channel
  • Poor soil drainage
  • Wave action
  • Excessive sand/gravel extraction
  • Intense water from rainfall
So how do we prevent these river bank protection disruptions? Some solutions are easier than others. We can't exactly ask the rain to hold off, but we can take preventative measures. Ask us about our Stream Bank Restoration White Paper. Best of all? It's FREE!
I'll see you next time, and remember, Don't Let Your Knowledge Erode!

18 Reasons to Use Coir Logs for Beach Erosion

Hey guys! Thank for checking in! Clay Redding here and today the road takes me to Cloverdale, Indiana to meet with Michael who is having a little trouble with beach erosion.
Michael contacted Granite Environmental with the following questions:
"I have a beach that is very prone to boat wakes and waves from the wind and need something quite beefy to protect from the shore from erosion.I want to place coir logs along a lake shore? I have a 140 feet shoreline to cover. I don't know the slope in in degrees but it's quite gradual. Would this work and what sizes do you have available?"
The Granite Tech Team contacted Michael with the good news that coir logs would be an excellent solution for beach erosion on the shoreline. Coir Logs come in 10 foot lengths with a diameter of 12", 16", and 20". The standard 12" logs were recommended.
Now I've been asked before, "What's the big deal with this coconut fiber stuff?" Folks, this is just a glimpse into the greatest of coir...

Why Use Coir Logs?
    coir logs, erosion control log, coir erosion control log
  1. Coir has high tensile strength which protects steep surfaces from heavy flows and debris movement.
  2. Coir Geotextile has three to five years longevity which allows for full plant and soil establishment, natural invasion and land stabilization.
  3. Being 100% natural and bio-degradable, coir fiber functions as a soil amendment
  4. Water absorbent coir fiber acts as mulch on the surface and as a wick in the soil mantle.
  5. The excellent micro-climate coir provides for plant establishment, natural invasion and balanced healthy growth.
  6. Coir meshes provides restoration of terrestrial and aquatic riparian habitat.
  7. Coir has the characteristic of being environmentally responsible and aesthetically pleasing.
  8. Capable of being customized to specific requirements/technical specifications according to the topographical conditions.
  9. Faster binding of soil
  10. Naturally resistant to mold & rot, hence needs no chemical treatment
  11. Excellent air and water permeability
  12. Enough sunlight passes through
  13. Holds the seeds and saplings in place
  14. Excellent medium for quick vegetation
  15. Degrades over a period of time 2 to 5 years
  16. Allows for deep rooting of plants and provides nutrients
  17. Easy to install and follows the contour of the soil surface
  18. Eco-friendly and non-polluting
I'm Clay Redding and I'll see you down the road!

Coastal Erosion Gets Controversial in North Carolina

Terra Firma here with the latest dirt! Professor Loam mentioned yesterday that coastal erosion can be a touchy subject. Now, you know I love a little controversy and today’s news doesn’t disappoint!
Fellow news enthusiast, Travis Fain, reports…
RALEIGH, NC -- The General Assembly is about to reopen one of its more controversial, complicated and oddly named debates: the battle over terminal groins.
Terminal groins are small ocean walls meant to slow beach erosion. They have been banned in North Carolina since 1985. Critics say they can cause unpredictable effects, including more severe erosion in other places.
But with the Republican takeover of the legislature, the ban stands a good chance of being overturned. Past efforts to allow the walls cleared the state Senate but got hung up in the House, where political observers say then-Speaker Joe Hackney kept the relevant bills stuck in committee.
This year, lifting the ban "enjoys fairly broad support" in the Senate, said state Sen. Phil Berger, the chamber's top Republican. And new Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has promised that the bill "will certainly have a full hearing," then move forward if members support it.
State Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, filed the bill Wednesday and said it has "as good a chance as it's ever had" to pass. His Senate Bill 110 would allow two or three groins per inlet.
Several environmental groups are opposed to the groins for a number of reasons. They're expensive, costing $3.5 million to $10 million to build and fill behind with sand. Maintenance costs as much as $2 million a year, according to one state study. And though groin proponents say local property owners and beach communities would pay for the walls, the N.C. Coastal Federation warns that state taxpayers may eventually be asked to foot the bill.
There's also debate over how well groins work in preventing coastal erosion. Typically, they're meant to keep coastal inlets from migrating, as inlets naturally do over the years due to current shifts. A shifting inlet means a loss of beach on the tip of an island, and that often endangers homes and other buildings near the inlet.
There are at least two groins on North Carolina's coast already, which were exempted from an oft-revisited ban the state approved in 1985. There seem to be some positive results from these groins, a state-funded study reported last year. But just how well groins work is hard to determine, the study said, because every inlet and beach is different. Also, other beach renourishment efforts, such as trucking in sand, may mask the positive and negative effects of groins, the study found.
The Coastal Federal argues that, while groins may slow erosion on one part of a beach, they can accelerate it farther down the beach. The ocean is unpredictable, and "throwing walls of rock and sheet metal in its path usually has unforeseen consequences," the federation's website states.
Brown, a coastal senator who has tried for years to have the groin ban lifted, acknowledged the differing opinions on the science of beach preservation. But he said that, with the millions already spent on preservation along North Carolina's coast, "it's time we try these groins."
Brown also promised "every protection that I think you could have" to keep state taxpayers from having to assume the costs of beach walls. Senate Bill 110 would require various environmental and engineering assessments, notification to area property owners before anything is built and the "identification of the financial resources" needed to build the groin and monitor it.
But the bill doesn't specifically require a construction bond, as Brown had previously said it might. It also doesn't include a ban against using state dollars on the projects, as environmental advocates have said it should. That, the Coastal Federation predicts, would eventually allow wealthy owners of vacation homes along North Carolina's coast to use state dollars to protect their homes from an encroaching inlet.
"It's been one of those issues that once you give aye on it, it's just impossible to stop, and it's like a snowball rolling down hill," the federation's executive director, Todd Miller, said. "One structure leads to another because the first one just doesn't work."
Thanks to Mr. Fain for his riveting story. I'm Terra Firma and this has been your daily dose of dirt!

Two Main Reasons Beach Erosion Plagues Our Sandy Shores

Welcome back friends! Professor Loam here, rearing and ready to go!
Today we’re going to take a look at beach erosion. We love our beaches. The sun, the water, the sand, the wildlife, we love it all! But, beach erosion has become a household name around the world as it continues as a growing problem. Whether the shore is sheltered or exposed, currents, waves, and sea level change play a major role in the causes of this erosion type.
One solution is "beach restoration (beach nourishment)". However, this is not only a temporary solution, but it is also a controversial subject. Sand must be trucked in from other sources and filtered for sediment. This sand, too, will eventually make its way into the air or the water, bringing it back to its eroded state.
And from where is the restorative sand coming? This harvesting could very well have a negative impact. Aquatic life can lose habitat. Currents can change.
Ultimately, and worst of all, erosion could take effect. So really, one problem is getting solved while another is being created.
Another popular, but troublesome, solution is to build seawalls, revetments, and jetties along the shoreline. Why? Dr. Ken Ruben , assistant professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii, says "[t]hese have a negative effect on beaches because once sea water reaches them, it bounces off them with more energy than a wave washing back off a normal sand beach."
So what is a good solution? Nothing beats beach erosion like natural vegetation. Natural fibers, like coir, can help propagate the growth and provide stability to root systems. If a seawall must be built, the fabric underlay should be a geotextile.

Don't let your knowledge erode! Ask us about our FREE White Paper Stream Bank Restoration!