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Erosion Control in Construction: What It Is and Why It Is Important

One of the significant threats to infrastructure is erosion. Erosion, in simple terms,  is defined as a geological process in which the extreme impact of natural forces (such as water and wind) and man-made forces, leads to the deterioration of earth surfaces.

 

Erosion is common in Nigeria and has ravaged homes, roads and other infrastructure for years.

 

What Is Erosion Control?

Erosion control refers to the measures that are taken to control and limit the risk of erosion. It involves practices that are aimed at preventing its occurrence in construction, agriculture and more.

 

Why Is It Important?

A publication in the International Journal of Erosion Control Engineering states that ‘Erosion is arguably the single most serious natural hazard in Nigeria, affecting nearly every part of the country but more aggressive in the southeastern part where it has killed people, torn roads in shreds, destroyed homes, schools, farmlands, and displaced poor people’.

 

Erosion is a factor that is detrimental to not just infrastructure, but individuals and inhabitants, as well.

 

Erosion Control in Construction

 

Erosion control plays a vital role in areas such as construction work, as it helps to ensure the preservation and protection of structures, as well as reducing the environmental impact of a construction project on the surrounding area. It involves innovative techniques such as the following:

 

a.  Observation of  the Construction Site

It’s very important to observe the construction site for any issues or potential risks. Doing this will enable construction officials to plan accordingly.

 

b.  Geotextiles

Geotextiles are absorbent materials that are used in, drainage, filtration, reinforcement, sealing, and protection, amongst others. These factors often influence the type of geotextile to be used. Geotextiles help in drainage, filtration and soil stability in construction projects.

 

c.  Riprap

Riprap refers to an erosion-proof layer of large stones interlocked together to act as a barrier to protect slopes, riverbeds and soil. Ripraps are often placed over geotextile to ensure that the soil does not ‘pipe’ or move through the riprap.

 

d.  Drainage Channels

Drainage channels such as the French Drain are useful in controlling erosion. The French Drain is a system that includes underground piping (known as a drain tile) that serves as a conduit for surface and groundwater to flow out. The drain tile may also be made penetrable to enable water to trickle into the soil below the tile, while excess water moves to the exit point.

 

e.  Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) Walls

A Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) refers to a compound solid structure that is made up of facing elements, soil mass and reinforcement. MSE walls are more effective than the conventional retaining walls and they are easier to install.

 

Geophase Resources involves innovative solutions and expertise to deliver excellent erosion control practices and other environmental consulting services. Visit https://geophaseresources.com/ or our office, located at 13 Olufunmilola Okikiolu St, Allen, Ikeja.

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