Erosion Damages the Environment
There are few words construction pros fear more than erosion. That’s because erosion means lost man hours, missed deadlines, costly remediation measures, and lots of missing dollars. Unfortunately, the construction business by it’s very nature is disruptive. In order to build, we dig holes, we grade lots and we pave roads. And this simple act of changing the natural state of the landscape can fuel this problem and cause huge additional problems down the road. Fortunately, with the right preventative measure, it’s possible to control and prevent erosion.
Before we talk about how to prevent erosion, it’s important to understand exactly what it is. Erosion is the process by which an external force moves soil, rock, and dissolved materials from one location on the earth’s crust to another. There are two main types of erosion:
- Wind Erosion: This typically takes place in dry environments where they wind moves particles from one spot to another. Desert sand dunes are great examples of wind erosion.
- Water Erosion: Water flowing over the ground strips away vegetation and first layer of dirt. As water continues to run over this bare earth, it will cut through deeper and longer areas. Water has the capacity to move a tremendous amount of displaced earth.
The Consequences of Erosion
Even though erosion is a natural process, it’s often spurred by human action and brings with it devastating environmental impacts. When wind or water removes the top layer of soil, it leaves a layer of less nutrient-rich, more unstable soil behind. The remaining soil, in turn, will be less able to support vegetation and even more vulnerable to continued damage.
Water causes destruction that impacts locations far away from the actual event site. When water isn’t absorbed into the ground, it becomes runoff and flows into our rivers and streams. As this water travels across ground surfaces, it picks ups contaminates like oil, chemicals, and in the case of erosion, soil. Diluted in water, this soil becomes silt, and in large quantities can pollute rivers and streams and damage wildlife and vegetation.
Erosion Control and the Government
As you might expect, federal, state, and municipal governments have all taken steps to control erosion in their local construction projects. This often takes the form of pre-project erosion control plans and frequent on-site monitoring and inspections. The government has also taken an active role in penalizing bad actors who fail to properly control erosion with large fines and environmental remediation penalties. Smart superintendents and job site bosses want to avoid these actions at all costs, not only because it’s the right thing to do environmentally but also because of the tremendous cost that comes with mistakes.
Industrial Matting Can Help
If you’re concerned about erosion, you should start by contacting planning officials in your local government. They’ll likely have detailed terrain maps that will show exactly where the problem areas lie. They can also provide the documents you’ll need to create a successful plan for implementing erosion controls.
Once you have a plan in place, Industrial Matting can supply some of the tools you need to put your plan in action. Construction mats protect vegetation and topsoil from the worst effects of heavy machinery and construction workers. By preserving vegetation and topsoil, you’ll have taken a huge first step in preventing both wind and water erosion.
So contact Industrial Matting today at (888) 543-MATS or by filling out our online contact form. Our matting experts will help create a plan that will fit your project and budget perfectly. In our next post, we’ll share a few strategies you can use onsite to keep erosion at bay.