Volume 25, Issue 2 (June 2002)
Design Considerations Related to the Performance of Erosion Control Products Combined with Soil Bioengineering Techniques
The combined use of erosion control products (commonly referred to as “inert materials”) and live plants for the restoration of waterways requires standardization of terminology, material function, and design criteria for each system. This will yield the combination of a correct engineering approach with the appropriate best management practices to produce the desired long-term performance. This paper will focus on combining soil bioengineering techniques with sound engineering practices when dealing with soil erosion or overall instability problems. The performance will be discussed with a proposed multidisciplinary approach, in order to achieve the desired environmental effect. The concept of “Minimum Energy Level” will also be discussed to identify the best environmentally compatible solution, typically ranging from simple to complex design scenarios. Due to the combined presence of inert materials and living plants, the field performance of the various solutions will evolve over time. This contributing factor will require testing the product strength characteristics both in the short and long term, in close relationship with the field performance criteria, in order to understand their function in waterways. The dynamics of the project site and the overall structural stability are greatly affected by these decisions.