24 Mar The Many Weighty Imports of Earth Retention
Soil erosion is the wearing away of topsoil. It is commonly caused by farming and construction practices and wind. Water erosion, the loss of topsoil due to water, also plays a significant role. Topsoil is the top layer of soil and is the most fertile as it contains many nutrients. Soil erosion often occurs over a uniform slope and frequently gets overlooked until much of the most productive topsoil is gone. This is where earth retention comes in.
Earth retention systems and retaining walls are frequently used for control of soil erosion. Earth retention also serves to protect sewer lines and real property from collapse and to prevent polluting waterways with silts and soils. In addition, earth retaining methods can mitigate the $750 million spent annually to repair landslides.
When considering retaining walls, bear in mind that walls over 4 feet implicate local building codes that need to be considered to ensure compliance in their construction. Concrete can be employed effectively for building retaining walls due to its prevalence, makeup, and strength.
Concrete is comprised of a mix of 60% to 75% gravel and sand, 15% to 20% water, 10% to 15% cement, and 5% to 10% air. It has significant compression power. Compression strengths as high as 20,000 psi are possible, while strengths ranging from 3,000 to 7,000 psi are more frequently used. Concrete is widely available; approximately 6 billion cubic meters of concrete is made every year, and over 2 billion tons of cement are produced annually.
Population and development growth lead to increased runoff water via drainage channels and also contribute to soil erosion. Lining these water channels is effective for preventing erosion from water. Channel lining also makes water conveyance more efficient and sustainable. Lining the channels that water travels also reduces water loss that occurs because of seepage. Types of channel lining include gabion walls, concrete rip rap, stone rip rap, grouted stone rip rap, articulating concrete blocks, and FlexaMat. Channel lining must be impervious to water. The lining’s primary purpose is to reduce seepage losses as much as possible, so go for options such as cement and concrete lining that are more impervious than tile lining.
For all earth retention and related work, be sure to seek out a specialty subcontractor with expertise in control of soil erosion in municipal, infrastructure and drainage projects. Experience, reliability, and the ability to meet your individual needs are critical.