Erosion Control Toolbox

Share via:


Welcome to the Caltrans Erosion Control Toolbox, a one-stop reference for erosion control standards and guidance. The purpose of this site is to provide Caltrans Landscape Architects with a single location that contains the information necessary to design successful, cost-effective and sustainable erosion control treatments.

NEW - Permanent Erosion Control Establishment Specifications

The Permanent Erosion Control Establishment specification may be used on projects with challenging slope conditions. This set of specifications and bid item ensure that a Contractor will be available during the Erosion Control Establishment period to perform the repair work required to ensure the establishment of healthy, sustainable, long-term vegetation. For guidance on how to use this set of specifications, please click here.

Erosion Control Technical Guide

The Caltrans Technical Guide to Erosion Control Treatment offers tools to assist in the design of sustainable erosion controls on project sites. Click here to download a copy of the Erosion Control Technical Guide.

Erosion Control Treatment Overview

The table below provides a general overview of various erosion control Best Management Practices (BMPs). Select the erosion control treatment(s) best suited to address deficiencies identified with a project.

Click on the hyper-link at left to obtain more specific information regarding a BMP.

IMPROVE SOIL HEALTH
  M A X. S L O P E ( H : V )   B E N E F I T S
  4:1
4:1
3:1
3:1
2:1
2:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1:1
1:1
Cut or Fill? Soil Cover (1) Soil Health
(2)
Infiltration
(3)
Roughen Soil OK OK OK OK C/F Low Medium Medium
Decompact Soil Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F Low Medium High
Stepped Slopes N/A OK OK Medium Not Recommended C Low Medium Medium
Preserve Existing Topsoil OK OK OK Medium Not Recommended C/F Low High Medium
Imported Topsoil OK OK OK Medium Not Recommended C/F Low Medium Medium
Incorporate Materials Dot Dot Medium Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F Low High High
PROVIDE SOIL COVER & IMPROVE SOIL HEALTH
  M A X. S L O P E ( H : V )   B E N E F I T S
4:1
4:1
3:1
3:1
2:1
2:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1:1
1:1
Cut or Fill? Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration
(3)
Duff Dot Dot Dot Medium Not Recommended C/F Medium High Medium
Mulch Dot Dot Dot Medium Not Recommended C/F Medium Medium Medium
Compost Blanket Dot Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F Medium High High
PROVIDE SHORT TERM SOIL COVER
  M A X. S L O P E ( H : V )   B E N E F I T S
  4:1
4:1
3:1
3:1
2:1
2:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1:1
1:1
Cut or Fill? Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration
(3)
Straw Dot Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended F Medium Low  
Hydroseed Dot Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F Medium Low Low
Bonded Fiber Matrix Dot Dot Dot Dot Medium C/F Medium Low Low
RECP Jute Mesh Dot Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F Medium Low Low
PROVIDE LONG TERM SOIL COVER
  M A X. S L O P E ( H : V )   B E N E F I T S
  4:1
4:1
3:1
3:1
2:1
2:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1:1
1:1
Cut or Fill? Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration
(3)
RECP Netting (Type A) Dot Dot Not Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended C/F High Low Low
RECP Netting (Type B) Dot Dot Dot Dot Medium C/F High Low Low
RECP Netting (Type C) Dot Dot Dot Dot Medium C/F High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type A)
N/A N/A Dot Dot Medium C/F High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type B)
N/A N/A Dot Dot Medium C/F High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type C)
N/A N/A Dot Dot Medium C/F High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type A) N/A N/A Dot Dot Not Recommended C/F High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type B) N/A N/A Dot Dot Dot C/F High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type C) N/A N/A Dot Dot Dot C/F High Low Low
STEEP SLOPE TECHNIQUES
  M A X. S L O P E ( H : V )   B E N E F I T S
  4:1
4:1
3:1
3:1
2:1
2:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1:1
1:1
Cut or Fill? Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration
(3)
Stepped Slopes N/A OK OK Medium Not Recommended C High Medium Medium
Brush Layering N/A OK OK Dot Not Recommended F High Medium Medium
RECP Flap N/A N/A Dot Dot Not Recommended F High Medium Medium
RECP Wrap N/A N/A Dot Dot Not Recommended F High Medium Medium
Soil Filled RSP N/A N/A Medium Dot Not Recommended C High Medium Medium
Cellular Confinement N/A N/A Dot Dot Not Recommended C High Medium Medium
Wire Blanket N/A N/A N/A Dot Dot C High Medium Medium
Wire Mesh Confinement N/A N/A N/A Dot Dot F Medium Medium

Legend (Benefits)

High Maximum Benefit

Medium Moderate Benefit

Low Minimal Benefit

(1) Treatments rated highly beneficial for soil cover include those that provide protection from raindrop impact and splash erosion. Treatments that provide good cover include mulches, compost, fiber included with hydroseeding, and rolled erosion control nets and blankets. (2) Treatments rated highly beneficial for soil health include those that improve soil texture, soil structure, fertility, and soil microbiology. Treatments that notably improve soil health include compost incorporate, duff, and reusing local topsoil. (3)

Treatments rated highly beneficial for infiltration include those that slow runoff, improve soil structure and open up the soil texture to increase infiltration of stormwater rather than encourage runoff. Treatments that notably improve infiltration include incorporate materials, roughen soil and preserve existingl topsoil.

 

   

Legend (Maximum Slope)

Dot  Recommended

Dot  May or may not be recommended based on site conditions. Check with your Geotechnical engineer.

Dot  Generally Not Recommended

N/A   Not Applicable - this treatment is typically not used in these conditions.

What is the Goal?

When selecting and combining various erosion control treatments, it is important, foremost, to clearly identify "success." Success is dependent upon site specific conditions, however, a successful erosion control treatment will sustainably address three specific areas - soils, water, and vegetation.

The goal of effective erosion control is twofold:

  1. Maintain water quality - retain soils in place
  2. Increase infiltration - reduce stormwater runoff

The Natural Environment As "Success"

In the natural environment, these goals are fulfilled by vegetation, mulch/duff and porous soils. Vegetation protects the soil from raindrop impact and surface erosion. Healthy, porous soils infiltrate stormwater, reduce runoff, and retain water necessary to sustain healthy vegetation. The mulch/duff layer protects the soil surface from erosion, provides nutrients to sustain vegetation, and feeds microorganisms that contribute to a well draining soil structure.

 

 

Updated: March 8, 2019

 

 

Caltrans Logo

Translate