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Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control


                           Before                                                                                 After

Above Images Courtesy of Rogue Valley Sewer Services.


Types of Erosion

  1. Raindrop erosion (splash) – Raindrop erosion occurs when rain disperses and mobilizes soil particles on contact.
  1. Sheet erosion - Sheet and rill erosion occur when rain drops and surface flows cause shallow stripping of soil.

  1. Rill erosion - Rill erosion occurs when surface flows become concentrated and begin to erode the surface.

  1. Gully erosion - Gully erosion occurs when concentrated flows cause sharp sided entrenched channels deeper than 0.5 meters.  

  1. Stream bank (channel) erosion - Stream bank erosion occurs when streams begin cutting deeper and wider channels as a consequence of increased peak flows or the removal of local protecting vegetation.
Selected definitions adapted from DPI 2005
Impacts of Erosion
Problems resulting from erosion and sedimentation include:

  • polluting lakes, wetlands, creeks, and rivers (dirt is a pollutant).
  • loss of system capacity and damage to infrastructure leads to flooding and costly system repairs.
  • aquatic habitat loss - sediment covers fish habitat and can smother eggs.
  • loss of valuable soil (e.g., topsoil).

Human Influences on Erosion

Soil erosion is a natural process that averages 0.2 tons per acre annually.  Humans greatly accelerate the process!  The loss rate is accelerated to:

  • 0.5 tons per acre for managed forests.
  • 1.5 to 20 tons per acre for pasture and cultivated lands.
  • 150 to 200 tons per acre for unprotected construction sites.

What Can Be Done?

  1. Develop and implement erosion prevention and sediment control programs (muncipalities).
  2. Develop and implement erosion control plans for construction activities (Example).
  3. Incorporate best management practices (e.g., rain gardens, swales, planter boxes) to reduce the amount of water running off your property (homeowners).
  4. Schedule construction and ground disturbing activities for the dry season or to avoid heavy rain.
  5. Retain native trees and brush cover on the site.  Use native trees in landscaping.
  6. Cover bare soil before it rains.  Use mulch, erosion control blankets, and other materials.
  7. Protect storm drains. Example.
  8. Learn more about erosion prevention and sediment control measures. 


Regional Stormwater Management

  • Bear Creek Watershed (Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Medford, Central Point, Rogue Valley Sewer Services, and Jackson County).
  • Rogue Basin (Grants Pass, Shady Cove, Eagle Point, Cave Junction, Rogue River, Gold Hill, Butte Falls, Gold Beach, Jackson County, Josephine County, and Curry County).


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