Erosion Control

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Soil erosion occurs naturally when rain falls. Runoff flows to the lowest point of the landscape. The velocity depends on the characteristics of the soils, the slope of the land and the vegetative cover.  

Erosion can be a serious environmental problem when the land is disturbed by development, agriculture, or forestry. Surfaces like roads, roofs, driveways and hard-packed soils will not absorb water, and the runoff increases. Expanses of pavement like parking lots reduce the chances for ground water recharge. Exposed soils are lost and the land becomes less productive. Fertilizers and pesticides that may have been applied wash away, too, causing water quality problems for people living downstream.

Suspended silt keeps sunlight from penetrating waterbodies, robbing aquatic plants, animals, and fish of the light and oxygen they need to live. When silt eventually settles to the bottom, it can smother fish eggs and other aquatic life. Sediments can also reduce stream channel capacity, causing localized flooding.

Plants are a natural, inexpensive and highly effective means of controlling runoff. Runoff slows down and loses much of its erosional force when it reaches a strip of vegetation. Vegetation also works as a filter, straining out sediment, debris and other pollutants. You can do certain things to reduce erosion from your property.

Take special precautions if you need to break ground.

For information and help: Contact your local conservation district, Soil Conservation Service agent, or your county cooperative extension office.

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