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Managing erosion during construction or landscaping can often be a contractor’s biggest concern, and while there are many erosion control methods available, hydroseeding for erosion control is often one of the most effective and efficient solutions. Controlling erosion is important for many reasons, especially to keep fertile, mineral-rich top soil in place for farming or landscaping, and reducing pollution and runoff.
Why is hydroseeding good for erosion control? The answer lies primarily in how hydroseeding is done — via spraying. In contrast to other erosion control methods, like hand seeding or erosion control blankets, being able to spray large areas of ground that are prone to erosion allows contactors to reach those areas where erosion is of greatest concern, and do so quickly and effectively.
What is Soil Erosion?
Soil erosion describes the process of dirt, especially softer, nutrient-dense top-soil, being washed away from a site, especially hilly, sloped, or uneven ground. While erosion is a result of natural processes like water runoff, wind, and animal activity, it can be exacerbated, sometimes dramatically, by human efforts like excavation and construction.
That’s why efforts to control erosion and stabilize soil in affected areas are key to maintaining the integrity of the ground and the surrounding ecosystem.
Preventing Soil Erosion with Hydroseeding
Hydroseeding helps prevent soil erosion in a variety of ways, from controlling runoff to stabilizing the soil, effective hydroseeding can help keep soil in place and protect against soil loss and degradation. Hydroseeding generally holds moisture more effectively than sod or hand seeded methods, which means seeds can germinate faster and work more quickly to hold soil in place.
Where Can Hydroseeding be Used to Control Erosion?
Hydroseeding for erosion control is especially useful in areas that can be otherwise hard to access, such as steep hillsides, slopes, and generally uneven terrain. Because hydroseed is applied via a sprayer on a rugged truck bed, this provides the flexibility to cover areas of ground that might be difficult to reach with traditional erosion control methods. Especially in areas already prone to erosion, hydroseeding can provide a stop-gap method to control erosion with the application of tackifiers and other soil stabilizing agents to help retain soil and prevent additional runoff. Hydroseeding can also be a great solution for large areas that need erosion control, since hydroseeding is a quick way to cover a large area.
Erosion Control Blanket vs. Hydroseeding
Erosion control blankets are another erosion control method that can be used in areas prone to erosion. These blankets are typically made from natural or synthetic fibers designed to physically hold soil in place. The idea behind erosion control blankets is that they can trap soil and seeds in erosion-prone areas to help establish soil and root systems. And while they are effective at preventing erosion and runoff, they do come with some important considerations:
Erosion control blankets must generally be applied by hand, which can be time consuming and mean that certain areas, and often the areas most in need of erosion control, can’t be accessed or properly stabilized. Once the blanket is in place, it must also be held in place, which is accomplished via stapling the blanket down. While this holds the blanket in place, it creates complications of its own because high winds or shifting soil can create gaps or ‘tents’ underneath the blanket which can undermine the effectiveness of the blanket.
By comparison, hydroseeding is often much easier to apply, and lower maintenance than erosion control blankets. And, since hydroseed doesn’t require the laying and securing of a cover, it can be applied to much more varied, hard-to-reach terrain.
Benefits of Hydroseeding for Erosion Control
In addition to being easier to apply, the benefits of hydroseeding for erosion control include:
- Time Savings — Hydroseeding helps control erosion quickly because it often only takes a small team of people and 1-2 hours to hydroseed a relatively large area.
- Versatility — Hydroseeding can be used to control erosion in just about any environment, whether you’re looking at controlling erosion on steep hillsides, uneven slopes, or highway berms.
- Resource Savings — Traditional erosion control methods are often resource-intensive, requiring lots of water and other materials to stabilize ground. Hydroseeding provides a more efficient solution by applying an even, uniform layer of slurry that is specifically designed for soil stabilization. Hydroseeding also uses much less water than other erosion control methods like traditional planting, sodding, or hand seeding.
- Cost Savings — Because hydroseeding is so quick to apply, you’ll find yourself saving money with each project.
- Safety — Hydroseeding slurry is safe to use in just about any environment, unlike erosion control blankets which can sometimes cause concern for wildlife and vegetation.
Important Features of Hydroseeding Equipment for Erosion Control
The equipment used in hydroseeding for erosion control is especially important, and generally needs to have a few key features to be really well-suited for this kind of work:
Hydroseeding slurry can be hard on tanks and equipment, which is why a specially-treated tank like the non-corrosive stainless steel, used both inside and outside the tanks of our Apex machines, is vital for an erosion control hydroseeder. This construction design helps eliminate potential weak spots created by abrasive slurries, helping machinery last longer and perform better.
Hydroseed slurry is also typically heavy and viscous, which means you need a powerful agitator to both mix and apply it. Twin, variable speed (0-150 rpm) hydraulically driven agitators like those in all Apex machine models keep slurry well mixed while speeding up the application process. This powerful agitation system also eliminates many problems during application, for smooth, quick, and consistent hydroseeding for erosion control.
Hydroseeders are the Best Equipment for Erosion Control
Construction, mining, landfills, and landscaping projects of all kinds rely on hydroseeding to help stabilize the soil after disruption. With its speedy application process and ability to retain soil and reduce runoff, hydroseeding for erosion control has proven itself an effective way to keep projects safe and benefit the environment, all while meeting regulations.
For all your erosion control equipment needs, there’s an Apex hydroseeder that can handle your erosion concerns. For more information, download our product’s technical details, or contact us today to learn more.