Sheetflow Erosion & Sediment Control Heavy Civil Construction

January 25, 2017

Straw Bales Don’t Work as Check Dams

Straw bales installed in ditch lines with water flows is a mistake. Water goes under and around, causing erosion, rather than backing up behind to allow sediment to settle. Check dams need to have a center point that is 6 to 12 inches lower than the outer edges so that water flows over the top, rather than around the sides. You can’t do this with straw bales. For this reason, these are not allowed to be used as check dams in the state of Washington.

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