Does Excavation Lead to Soil Erosion?

There are times when excavation cannot be avoided, but does this cause soil erosion? Learn more in this brief guide on the topic.

Erosion of the soil on the property happens regularly over time, with Mother Nature doing most of the work. However, other things like control construction projects, such as excavation, can still lead to it.

So when was the last time you had some serious excavating done, and how’s your property’s state these days? Do you know if soil erosion is a problem in your area?

In this article, we like to take a moment to talk about soil erosion and excavation. Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between the two. 


Does Excavation Lead to Soil Erosion?

Excavation means taking dirt, rocks, or other things out of the ground. In places where soil erosion is already a problem, digging can worsen the situation by speeding up the erosion process. When you dig, you can make water-filled channels that expose more soil to erosion.

Also, when soil is moved, it reveals a new surface with fewer plant roots to act as anchors and keep the soil in place leading to soil erosion. Building ditches with steeper or deeper slopes can also cause the plants along the edges to be trampled, which leads to more erosion.

To protect the soil from erosion caused by digging, the topsoil should be removed and redistributed properly. You should also replant plants to help keep the soil stable.

Strategies to Effectively Manage Excavation and Avoid Soil Erosion

When carrying out excavation, there are several strategies one should employ for erosion control. These include the following:

Comprehensive Site Assessment

Before you start digging, you should look at the site carefully. You should look at the soil types, the land’s slope, and how the water drains.

You should also look into the nearby land features and groundwater depths. You can use geotechnical engineering and field surveys to determine if the soil is good for building and how likely it is to erode.

Use of Erosion Control Blankets

Erosion control blankets are an important and effective way to keep soil from washing away during excavation. You can make blankets out of straw, coir, or other natural materials that break down over time. You can also use non-biodegradable materials like geotextiles and plastic mesh that don’t break down.

Ultimately, these blankets can help stop the land from getting worse and the soil from washing away. They are a necessary part of any digging project and should be implemented with other erosion control tools.

Use Hydro Excavation

Hydro excavation is one of the best ways to keep dirt from washing away while digging. It uses a high-pressure water stream to break up hard-packed soil and a powerful vacuum system to remove the material safely.

This lets it get into hard-to-reach places without damaging the environment or causing a lot of noise. Hydro excavation reduces the rate of erosion caused by traditional and manual digging because the gentle suction motion does not rip or tear the soil or cause vibrations that turn it into topsoil.

Prevent and Manage Soil Erosion!

Excavation can lead to soil erosion if it is done improperly. There is a lot of potential in excavation, but proper measures should be taken to preserve the soil, so it remains in its best condition. Investing in soil stabilization can save us from soil erosion and help in excavation projects. 

You should also speak up and educate others in the industry about effectively managing erosion issues associated with excavation.  Through education, we can all be part of the solution to prevent and manage soil erosion.

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