WHAT NOT TO DO - EROSION CONTROL FAILURES

What is HPTRM?

HPTRM stands for High-Performance Turn Reinforcement Mat and is considered hardened shoreline. It is a thick, anchored poly matting that is secured to slopes, river edges, lake banks, and other areas where water meets land. It is used underneath sod, but in areas of extreme erosion with constant water flow, wave-action, or an unavoidably steep slope (greater than 4:1).

Why do we hate it so much?

Study after study shows that it just doesn’t work. Here are some pictures taken by civil engineers exposing its faults (see attached). The typical lake, pond, canal, or river shoreline here in SW Florida does not endure heavy waveaction (constant, violent pounding by wakes or waves) or heavy current, ergo, the use of HPTRM in these situations leads to a solution that is way over-engineered, over-priced, and overly complicated.

What is a good alternative?

Rip rap, #57, shell.

What is geotube?

Geotube is a system in which woven fabric tubes are filled with lake-bottom sediment or organic matter and laid on top of each other along a shoreline to help stabilize the bank.

Why do we hate it so much?

  • Contrary to popular belief, sod does not cover up geotubes because the fill dirt underneath the sod simply washes out from under it, leaving the sod to die a slow, gruesome death. (see pictures)
  • We have seen some companies fill their geotubes with pine straw – an organic filler that biodegrades in a few years or less and leaves flat, ineffective tubes behind. The entire lakeshore must be redone.
  • Other erosion control companies also fill the geotubes with lake-bottom sediment, allow it to dry, and then slice the tubes open to leave behind the sediment. This restores the banks back to their original state, right? Wrong! The loose sediment simply washes back down into the bottom of the lake after a little rain.

“I don’t like using those [geotubes] because if the cover atop of either of those bank solutions wears or dies off – then the fabric becomes exposed and when the water level drops – they are unsightly in my opinion… That is why I prefer the more natural and less costly/invasive approach of re-grading/compacted crushed shell and robust littoral plantings for bank restoration and stabilization.”
– Richard B., Professional Engineer in Fort Myers, FL

Geotube failure on a small lake in Fort Myers after only a few years.  Will cost this community hundreds of thousands to repair and redo..should have hired us to do it right the first time! Our hardened shoreline erosion control systems come with a Lifetime Warranty on workmanship.

What are Gabion baskets?

A cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications, and landscaping.

Why do we hate it so much?

  • Expensive
  • Cage can break, rust, or fail
  • Provides nesting areas for rats and rodents

What is fill dirt and how is it used in erosion control?

Fill dirt is simply earth that is mined from the ground here in Florida and it is placed inside of washouts, crevices, holes, and drop-offs along lake and pond banks to restore the bank to its original slope. It can be used in areas above the control water level or for small cavities in the shoreline, but not as a complete fix for the entire shoreline.

Why do we hate it so much?

Fill dirt is ineffective when used by itself because it has nothing to hold it in (see pictures). Even when compacted, Florida fill does not stay in place and thus must be used as a component of a more elaborate erosion control system such as our Seabreeze proprietary erosion control system.

What is geotextile and how is it used in erosion control?

Geotextile is a fabric that is often used in landscape applications to prevent weeds or to hold back dirt and allow water to percolate through. It comes in different thicknesses and colors.

Why do we hate it so much?

For shoreline erosion control it doesn’t really do anything. You can’t leave it exposed because its ugly and the UV rays from the sun degrade it over time. You can’t put fill dirt and sod over it because the fill dirt washes away, eventually killing the sod and exposing the mat. You can’t use it underneath heavy aggregates and stones because it has a very low tensile strength and simply tears and fails under the weight. We use a different matting and application that is much more effective. Contact us for details.

“Byron has viewed installation of the TRM’s and [in] that case caused some soil loss below the TRM and created a void that if you were walking along the bank – its an ankle breaker. Not that one size fist all though -some cases due to drainage might require a different approach for armoring certain sections of the lake banks.”
– Richard B., Professional Engineer in Fort Myers, FL

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

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