What are Rolled Erosion Control Products?

Site engineers, consultants, regulatory agencies, earthwork and seeding contractors, and other professional within the construction industry often are faced with challenges posed by land, nature and weather. Special care must be taken to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation.

Rolled Erosion Control Products (RECPs) provide this special care. RECPs have quickly evolved to include a wide variety of temporary degradable open weave textiles and erosion control blankets, as well as permanent turf reinforcement mats. RECPs have many desirable, environmental-friendly attributes including:

  • They limit soil erosion.
  • They retain soil moisture, which in turn promotes seed germination.
  • They protect seed and seedlings during heavy rainfall or winds enabling better vegetation establishments.

As there are many types of products available for erosion control, product selection is based on many factors including:

  • Functional longevity required (short term, long term or permanent usage.)
  • Relative cost of materials, installation and maintenance.
  • Visual impact to the public.

Temporary RECPs

For applications where natural vegetation alone will provide sufficient permanent erosion protection, a temporary rolled erosion control product may be used. Temporary erosion control products provide necessary longevity and performance properties to effectively control erosion and assist in the establishment of vegetation under the anticipated immediate site conditions.

One form of a temporary RECP is an open weave textile (OWT.) OWTs are a degradable product composed of processed natural or polymer yarns woven into a matrix, used to provide erosion control and facilitate vegetation establishment.

Another temporary RECP is an erosion control blanket (ECB), which is a degradable RECP composed of processed natural or polymer fibers mechanically, structurally or chemically bound together to form a continuous matrix to provide erosion control and facilitate vegetation establishment.

Permanent RECPs

For applications where natural vegetation alone will not sustain expected flow conditions and/or provide sufficient long-term erosion protection, a permanent rolled erosion control product may be used. Permanent erosion control products provide the necessary performance properties to effectively control erosion and reinforce vegetation under the expected long-term site conditions.

A turf reinforcement mat (TRM) is a permanent RECP composed of non-degradable synthetic fibers, filaments, nets, wire mesh and/or other elements, processed into a permanent, three-dimensional matrix of sufficient thickness. TRMs, which may be supplemented with degradable components, are designed to impart immediate erosion protection, enhance vegetation establishment and provide long-term functionality by permanently reinforcing vegetation during and after maturation. TRMs typically are used in hydraulic applications, such as high flow ditches and channels, steep slopes, stream banks, and shorelines, where erosive forces may exceed the limits of natural, unreinforced vegetation or in areas where limited vegetation establishment is anticipated.