November 7

Erosion Control With a Rip Rap


Erosion is the displacement of soil by water, wind, or other natural occurrences. Rip Rap can be used to stabilize areas on a construction site with high erosive power by increasing roughness and slowing velocity of runoff. This can be the most effective method of erosion prevention. It is desirable in areas where conditions prohibit vegetation to grow. For example, areas where velocities are too forceful for vegetation to withstand.

What is Rip Rap

Rip rap can be defined as loose stones used to form a foundation for a breakwater or other structure. It’s given this name as a shortened version of the phrase “rippling water striking the shore.” The size of the stones used can vary based on the steepness of the slope it’s protecting and how fast or forceful the water is in that area.

How is Rip Rap Installed

Compared to other practices, rip rap is simple to install and maintain. It is super useful in armoring channels and ditch banks. Having it installed can reduce the cost of sediment build up removal because the soil isn’t being displaced with rip rap. By laying down a special sheet of fabric to cover the soil, water won’t be able to wash away the sand or soil underneath. Rip Rap can last up to fifty years if quality materials are purchased.

Where Can Rip Rap Be Used

Rip rap is typically used along shorelines to limit erosion caused by waves, outer banks of river bends slowing the force of waters, and near bridges along embankments to support waterways. Erosion can damage bridges, wash out nearby roadways, and cause property loss. Installing rip rap is cheap and easy, as stated above. It can be prevented with little resources to maintain shorelines and help stabilize areas near rapid waters.

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