Sheetflow Erosion Control Erosion Control for CESCL's

September 8, 2020

Biodegradable Wattles

I wrote this biodegradable wattles specification for a riverbank habitat restoration project. This can be modified to make it specific for other types of projects. The reference to WSDOT works for Washington state only. The last three sentences are written for this particular project which has a 2:1 slope above the river. We will be placing 12 inches of compost before native plants are installed this winter. Without the wattles, wet compost will slide to the base of the slope.


  1. Wattles shall consist of 100% biodegradable straw, coir, excelsior or compost encased in 100% biodegradable fabric or mesh.
  2.  Wattles shall be a minimum of 8 inches in diameter free of cuts tears and damage.
  3. The installation of straw wattles shall be per WSDOT Standard Plan I-30.30-00 “Wattle Installation on Slope”.
  4. Wattles shall be staked in place using wooden stakes a minimum of 16 inches long.  The stakes shall be cut flush with the top of the wattles.
  5. Wattles shall be installed on the Site 25 slope above +12 elevation.
  6. Wattles shall be installed in two rows across the slope parallel to the 12 + elevation. 
  7. Rows shall be approximately 7 feet above the +12 elevation and 7 feet below the top of the slope.

December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019


Merry Christmas 2019!  What do I do when I am on vacation?  Take videos of erosion control, of course!

Erosion control blanket was installed on this slope in southern Utah about 6 years ago. The biodegradable material has degraded. The photodegradable netting is still intact, seemingly just as strong as new. The slope is south-facing, the area gets over 300 days a year of sun; what’s the deal? How long will this stuff last in the environment? I only specify 100% biodegradable erosion control blankets; this is one reason why.

December 24, 2019

Shortening Slope Length

Video: David Jenkins

In this video, I discuss shortening slope length with coir logs installation methods.

November 26, 2019

Track Walk to Reduce Erosion

Track Walk  to Reduce Erosion – Want a simple and effective way to reduce slope erosion by up to 50%? Don’t back blade your slopes, track walk them!

Video: David Jenkins

October 31, 2019

Is This Silt Fence Necessary?

photo: David Jenkins

Is this silt fence necessary? Overlooking the fact that this silt fence installation needs some maintenance, I wonder if it was ever really needed in this location? The slope grades to the fence are minimal and not very long, and the roadside ditch line is graded so that water will drain away from the road.

This type of silt fence installation is appropriate at the base of long, steep slopes, or if there is risk of sediment travelling off site. Also, all of the materials used will likely be land filled and not reused, including the wire backing and the “T” posts.

If this were my site, I would have installed orange safety fence with steel “T” posts, maybe with a compost berm along the base, on the project side. The safety fence can be easily removed and reused later, and the compost could be raked into the ditch line and hydroseeded.

June 4, 2019

Rough vs Smooth Slope

This is a dramatic example of the effect of rainfall on a Rough vs Smooth slope.

The rough side was “track walked” using a small Caterpiller tractor.   The other side was “back-bladed” smooth with the same tractor.

Both test plots were prepared with the same soil and then sprayed with bonded fiber matrix (BFM) with seed and fertilizer.

Video: David Jenkins

February 15, 2018

Straw Wattles Reduce Erosion

Straw wattles reduce erosion when placed on a slope, on contours and at regular intervals.  They will intercept flowing water, reducing its velocity and reduce erosion. Straw Wattle Installation Drawing

Video: David Jenkins

January 20, 2018

Straw Wattles on Slope

Here is another example of the benefits of using straw wattles on a slope. 

Video: David Jenkins

January 13, 2016

Plastic Sheet

Plastic sheet is a good, temporary practice you can use to protect soil from soil erosion and sediment loss from a slope.

When used, you need to make sure that the plastic is installed so that all the clean rainwater that runs off doesn’t end up dirty because it ran onto bare soil.

The clean water needs to be collected and piped away from the bare dirt, or the plastic needs to be run all the way to the bottom of the slope into a stable ditch covered with grass, erosion control blanket, rock or other soil erosion prevention measure.

Video: David Jenkins

Powered by WordPress