Common Methods of Erosion Control

Erosion controls are used in natural, agricultural, or urban environments to retain land material (ie soil, silt, rock, vegetation), or to capture land material that is likely to be moving, settling, or loosening. Gabions, for example, are used to retain material along riverbanks and road cutouts.  Where there is a man-made disturbance of land or waste material that is likely to become runoff, then Sediment Controls have to be designed and built as part of a required Storm Water runoff Management Plan (SWMP) before groundbreaking, at a reopening of a site, or as part of a Remediation Plan. Sediment Basins and Silt Fences are commonly seen Erosion Control installations at sediment charged sites (ie roadside construction areas, gravel pits, and refineries).

Other Methods Include:

buffer strip
cellular confinement systems
crop rotation
conservation tillage
contour binding
contour plowing
cover crops
fiber rolls
level spreaders
perennial crops
polyacrylamide (as a coagulant)
riparian strip
strip farming
sand fence
vegetated waterway (bioswale)
wattle (construction)
Mathematical modeling

Grants and Project Funding 

Financial Assistance | NRCS - A Listing of Funding Opportunities by the National Resources Conservation Service and the USDA - EPA WebLinks to Federal Funding Opportunities  

Government Regulations (Some but not all)

Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Safety – Water Quality Control Division
CDOT SWMP Templates for < 1 acre and > 1 acre
EPA – Erosion and Sediment Control
Construction | Denver Water


CDOT Transportation Erosion Control Supervisor Certification (TECS)
International Erosion Control Association - Erosion Control Educational Video Resource



EROSION the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water degradation of topography, causing shifting, losses or disturbances to topsoil or other exposed land surfaces. In the environmental industry, E.C. is critical to protecting water sources from pollution and/or collapse, and wildlife habitats from becoming inhospitable.  In the construction business, proper E.C. planning is insurance for your foundation, preventing costly losses to property or operations.

Erosion control, Swmp, Urban drainage 720-422-3373​

**The following paragraphs are excerts from  "Cuyahoga River”. Wikipedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Multiple contributors. Web. Accessed 25 September 2015.  

**The Cuyahoga River[6] (/?ka?.??h???/ ky-?-hog-?, or /?ka?.??ho???/ ky-?-hoh-g?)[7][8][9][10] is located in Northeast Ohio in the United States and feeds Lake Erie. The river is famous for being "the river that caught fire," helping to spur the environmental movement in the late 1960s. Native Americans called this winding water "Cuyahoga," which means "crooked river" in anIroquoian language.  

The Cuyahoga watershed begins its 100-mile (160 km) journey in Hambden, Ohio, flowing southward to the confluence of the East Branch Cuyahoga River and West Branch Cuyahoga River in Burton, where the Cuyahoga River officially begins.[1] It continues on its 84.9 miles (136.6 km) journey flowing southward to Akron and Cuyahoga Falls, where it turns sharply north and flows through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Summit County and southern Cuyahoga County. It then flows through Independence,Valley View, Cuyahoga Heights, Newburgh Heights and Cleveland to its northern terminus, emptying into Lake Erie. The Cuyahoga River and its tributaries drain 813 square miles (2,110 km2) of land in portions of six counties.

The river is a relatively recent geological formation, formed by the advance and retreat of ice sheets during the last ice age. The final glacial retreat, which occurred 10,000–12,000 years ago, caused changes in the drainage pattern near Akron. This change in pattern caused the originally south-flowing Cuyahoga to flow to the north. As its newly reversed currents flowed toward Lake Erie, the river carved its way around glacial debris left by the receding ice sheet, resulting in the river's winding U-shape. These meanderings stretched the length of the river (which was only 30 miles (50 km) when traveled directly) into a 100-mile (160 km) trek from its headwaters to its mouth. The depth of the river (except where noted below) ranges from 3 to 6 ft (1 to 2 m).

Moses Cleaveland, a surveyor charged with exploring the Connecticut Western Reserve, first arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga in 1796 and subsequently located a settlement there, which became Cleveland, Ohio.

The river was one of the features along which the "Greenville Treaty Line" ran beginning in 1795, per the Treaty of Greenville that ended the Northwest Indian War in the Ohio Country, effectively becoming the western boundary of the United States and remaining so briefly.

City pump station discharges sewage into Cuyahoga River (1973)

The Cuyahoga River, at times during the 20th century, was one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. The reach from Akron to Cleveland was devoid of fish. A 1968 Kent State University symposium described one section of the river:

From 1,000 feet [300 m] below Lower Harvard Bridge to Newburgh and South Shore Railroad Bridge, the channel becomes wider and deeper and the level is controlled by Lake Erie. Downstream of the railroad bridge to the harbor, the depth is held constant by dredging, and the width is maintained by piling along both banks. The surface is covered with the brown oily film observed upstream as far as the Southerly Plant effluent. In addition, large quantities of black heavy oil floating in slicks, sometimes several inches thick, are observed frequently. Debris and trash are commonly caught up in these slicks forming an unsightly floating mess. Anaerobic action is common as the dissolved oxygen is seldom above a fraction of a part per million. The discharge of cooling water increases the temperature by 10 to 15 °F [5.6 to 8.3 °C]. The velocity is negligible, and sludge accumulates on the bottom. Animal life does not exist. Only the algae Oscillatoria grows along the piers above the water line. The color changes from gray-brown to rusty brown as the river proceeds downstream. Transparency is less than 0.5 feet [0.15 m] in this reach. This entire reach is grossly polluted.[11]

At least 13 fires have been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868.[12] The largest river fire in 1952 caused over $1 million in damage to boats, a bridge, and a riverfront office building.[dead link][13] On June 22, 1969, a river fire captured the attention of Time magazine, which described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays".[14] The fire did eventually spark major changes as well as the article from Time, but in the immediate aftermath very little attention was given to the incident and was not considered a major news story in the Cleveland media. Furthermore, the conflagration that sparked Time's outrage was in June 1969, but the pictures they displayed on the cover and as part of the article were from the much more dangerous and costly 1952 fire. No pictures of the 1969 fire are known to exist, as local media did not arrive on the scene until after the fire was under control. The 1969 fire caused approximately $50,000 in damage, mostly to an adjacent railroad bridge.[12]

A view of the river from the Ohio and Erie Canal Tow-Path Trail

The 1969 Cuyahoga River fire helped spur an avalanche of water pollution control activities, resulting in the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). As a result, large point sources of pollution on the Cuyahoga have received significant attention from the OEPA in recent decades. These events are referred to in Randy Newman's 1972 song "Burn On," R.E.M.'s 1986 song "Cuyahoga," and Adam Again's 1992 song "River on Fire." Great Lakes Brewing Company of Cleveland named its Burning River Pale Ale after the event.

Water quality has improved and, partially in recognition of this improvement, the Cuyahoga was designated one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998.[15]

Despite these efforts, pollution continues to exist in the Cuyahoga River due to other sources of pollution, including urban runoff, nonpoint source problems, combined sewer overflows,[16] and stagnation due to water impounded by dams. For this reason, the Environmental Protection Agency classified portions of the Cuyahoga River watershed as one of 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The most polluted portions of the river now generally meet established aquatic life water quality standards except near dam impoundments. The reasons for not meeting standards near the dam pools are habitat and fish passage issues rather than water quality. River reaches that were once devoid of fish now support 44 species. The most recent survey in 2008 revealed the two most common species in the river werehogsuckers and spotfin shiners, both moderately sensitive to water quality. Habitat issues within the 5.6 miles (9.0 km) navigation channel still preclude a robust fishery in that reach. Recreation water quality standards (using bacteria as indicators) are generally met during dry weather conditions, but are often exceeded during significant rains due to nonpoint sources and combined sewer overflows.**

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