Why Erosion Control is Important in Tennessee

by | May 15, 2023

Welcome to Tennessee, the land of rolling hills, 60,417 miles of winding rivers, and breathtaking scenery. However, with such beauty comes the threat of erosion, a natural process that can damage the landscape and harm the environment. Erosion can occur due to various factors, including heavy rainfall, construction activities, and human intervention. Fortunately, Tennessee has taken steps to combat erosion and protect its natural resources through various erosion control measures.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of erosion control in Tennessee and the different methods used to prevent it. From the innovative erosion control measures that have been successfully implemented to the devastating effects of unchecked erosion, we can uncover everything there is to know about erosion in Tennessee.


Causes of Erosion in Tennessee

Tennessee has a diverse geography, which unfortunately makes it particularly susceptible to erosion. In recent years, the state has experienced severe erosion that has had a significant impact on the environment and local communities. The causes of erosion in Tennessee can be attributed to various factors, including:

  1. Type of Soil: While Tennessee does have clay and sandy soil, the state’s main issue with erosion stems from silt soil. Silt particles are medium-sized and very light, making them easily carried by water if exposed and tilled.
  2. Flooding: Heavy rainfall, rain runoff, and overflowing waterways can often lead to widespread flooding events. As a result, the flooding’s displacement of soil and trees can increase the risk of landslides and sinkholes.
  3. Wind: With seasonal tornados throughout the state, heavy winds can remove vegetation from the ground while carrying loose soil from one location to another.

While erosion can occur naturally, human activities can exacerbate the problem. In Tennessee, some of the most common human activities that cause erosion include:

  • Construction: During construction, the removal of vegetation and soil disturbance can accelerate erosion, especially during rainfall events.
  • Logging: Logging businesses and activities can destabilize soil when excess trees and vegetation has been removed.
  • Agriculture Practices: Tilling and plowing practices can remove protective vegetation and disturb the soil, making it more vulnerable to erosion from wind and water.

While we cannot control natural erosion, we can take steps to reduce human activities that can cause erosion. It is crucial to understand the causes of erosion in Tennessee to prevent irreversible damage and protect the state’s natural beauty.


Importance of Erosion Control in Tennessee

The impact of erosion on the landscape and economy of Tennessee is undeniable. With recent record-breaking rainfall, flash floods have caused widespread damage throughout the state. Erosion takes various forms, causing water pollution, flooding, landslides, mudslides, and sinkholes that devastate habitats, businesses, and homes. To protect the natural beauty and growth of the state, it’s crucial to prioritize erosion control measures in Tennessee.

Erosion control plays a critical role in maintaining the local ecosystem and each community in Tennessee. Preventing the loss of topsoil’s ability to hold nutrients is crucial as it allows for regulating water flow and combating pollutants. Whether you’re a contractor, business owner, or homeowner, implementing erosion control measures is vital in maintaining your property.

By making erosion control a priority, we can safeguard our communities, preserve the natural landscape of Tennessee, and sustain the state’s growth for years to come. Watch this YouTube video to see the serious effects of erosion following the March floods in Nashville.


Preventing Erosion in Tennessee

As members of the Tennessee community, we have the power to prevent and control erosion by implementing erosion prevention measures, such as sustainable landscaping practices and efficient drainage systems. While the state and individual cities have implemented laws to reduce erosion and sediment control issues, erosion control is not just the responsibility of individuals but a collective effort of the entire community.

To ensure long-term success in erosion control, monitoring, and maintenance are crucial. Regular inspections and maintenance of erosion control measures can prevent erosion from occurring and identify necessary repairs or modifications promptly. Proper maintenance can significantly extend the life of erosion control structures and minimize the risk of erosion-related damage. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods of erosion control commonly used in Tennessee.

  • Incorporate natural vegetation planting to stabilize soil and mitigate runoff. This planting is especially critical for contractors to consider in their construction projects.
  • Install a rain garden to collect and absorb runoff from rooftops and gardens.
  • Use retaining walls as structures to support slopes and prevent soil from sliding down.
  • Employ erosion blankets, crafted from natural or synthetic materials, on slopes to slow down water runoff and promote the growth of vegetation.
  • Ensure contractors create a comprehensive design that considers slope, drainage patterns, and soil types.
  • Utilize mulch and/or fertilizer to help water slowly penetrate the soil reducing the impact of rainfall and further enhancing soil stability.

By adopting these proven techniques, we can take tangible steps toward preventing erosion and safeguarding our environment for future generations. Learn more about how to prevent erosion in this informative YouTube video below.


Erosion Control Projects in Tennessee

Tennessee is no stranger to the devastating effects of erosion, which can cause catastrophic floods, landslides, and other natural disasters. However, many individuals and organizations in the state are working tirelessly to address these issues through erosion control projects. From government agencies and non-profit organizations to private businesses, there is a collective effort to implement sustainable practices and innovative solutions to prevent and control erosion. Some successful initiatives include:

  • The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation offers three training workshops for developers, contractors, and engineers to prevent erosion and control sediment.
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority uses its platform to share resources with the public on how to protect the shorelines and streambanks of the Tennessee River. Check out the fact sheets provided to assess what plants you should have to help reduce erosion.
  • Nolichucky River Watershed Project involved restoring damaged areas along the riverbanks from stormwater pollutants, reducing sediment runoff, and improving water quality.
  • Stormwater Management Program in Nashville includes measures, such as stormwater detention basins, vegetative swales, and permeable pavements to reduce stormwater runoff and prevent erosion.
  • The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program aims to reduce the level of potentially toxic pollutants discharged from wastewater sources into sewer systems. This program reduces the amount of pollutants released into the environment from these sources.
  • Tennessee Tree Program, founded by the Tennessee Environmental Council, aims to plant more trees to help stormwater drainage and to filter rainwater which will both help offset the effects of erosion.

These projects not only protect the environment, but also contribute to the economic well-being of the state. As a resident of Tennessee, you too can get involved in erosion control efforts by volunteering with local organizations and attending organized community events.


About Reed Land & Hardscaping

Protect your construction and land development projects through our erosion control methods. Our reliable methods are proven to minimize the potential for erosion on site. Our team is dedicated to ensuring the efficient drainage of excess rainfall at your commercial properties, no matter what the weather conditions may be in Nashville.

Reed Landscaping is Middle Tennessee’s most versatile landscape construction, hardscape, and site contractor. There’s no job that Reed Landscaping can’t handle–especially when it comes to erosion control! With extensive experience in drainage systems in cities like Nashville and Brentwood, Reed Landscaping can provide professional services for a project of any size. With the launch of our new website, Reed Landscaping is excited to showcase our completed projects and erosion control pictures here.

If you’re ready to start your project, reach out to Reed Landscaping. Our team of erosion control experts will help you achieve the look and feel you are searching for on your next construction project.

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