Steep slopes on public property offer many challenges for government officials who want to make the most out of all the acreage they maintain. Sloping hillsides can provide a lot of scenic opportunities when properly managed. If not, erosion can lead to additional expenses that no one wants to include in their annual budget. Here is why a proactive approach is best.
An important benefit of erosion control is its ability to help reduce flood damage and to potentially even stop flooding. When hillsides are bare, the soil becomes saturated quickly and the overflow pours into lower-lying areas. The flooding strips away additional topsoil and may lead to higher flood risks in the future.
Some erosion control methods make it possible for the establishment of vegetation that can hold more water and slow down the runoff to manageable levels. Adequate vegetation is not a fail-proof option in all flood-prone areas, but it provides some relief for all sloped terrain.
Polluted runoff is a risk for all waterways. Fertilizer, chemicals on roadways from vehicles, and even the discharge from industrial areas all eventually reach the bodies of water in the area. Vegetation and soil help to filter water and reduce the number of pollutants that reach waterways.
Erosion washes away topsoil and prevents the establishment of vegetation. When riverbanks and the land next to streams are bare there is much less protection, and the direct runoff can spill into the water. Hydroseeding is a method that enables vegetation to take hold anywhere, even in wet environments and steep slopes, thus protecting the topsoil.
Erosion also damages roads and is the cause of many road closures. Any closed road disrupts the lives of residents and can reduce the business traffic in the area. Erosion affects roads in a couple of ways. Hillsides can collapse and block the road and create a potentially hazardous situation that puts anyone on the road when it happens at risk.
Another common effect is the vulnerability of the pavement due to the excess water running through the area. The repair costs are an added expense to local governments and, more directly, to the taxpayers that fund the budget. Better erosion control may reduce accident risk and lower maintenance costs for frequently affected roads.
Bare, eroding hills along a river or in a park are unappealing and useless to everyone. Replace that view with lush, seeded lawn and a few wildflowers, and it is suddenly a popular community destination for walks and picnics. The added scenic views may even attract visitors and homebuyers to the city.
Grass also provides shelter and food for wildlife. Wildflowers attract butterflies, bees, and birds to the land, and these creatures will fan out and pollinate local gardens. If the slopes are not where a park is feasible, there are still reasons to add grass. Grass helps to moderate temperatures by absorbing heat during the day and releasing it in the evening.
The transformation of a bare slope into a lush green carpet requires more than tossing out grass seed. All new seeds are at the mercy of the wind and rain, and the risk is greater when the ground is not level. Hydroseeding, a process that uses a slurry of mulch and seed mixed together, is more successful. A commercial application is applied quickly, and germination begins within days.
At Hydrograss Technologies, we offer innovative products and techniques for the fastest germination possible. Damage is less likely once the seeds become established. Using natural solutions to provide groundcover in any area, especially slopes, prevents erosion and the additional damage it causes. Contact us today for more information.