What Causes River Bank Erosion?
A certain amount of river bank erosion will occur naturally. The river water will break away small pieces of the bank and deposit them further downstream. This is what causes the shapes of rivers to slowly change over the course of decades.
But the process can be greatly sped up by a number of causes. One of the most common is severe flooding. Floodwaters can increase the speed and force of the flowing river, causing large chunks of the banks to break away.
Other factors can include debris that falls into the river and redirects the flow of the water. Changes made to the river upstream can cause similar shifts in the current that can lead to river bank erosion.
The banks can also be weakened by water from sources outside the river. For instance, a leak in a nearby water source, such as a pipe or water tower, can saturate the soil and cause the banks to weaken and collapse.
The Effects of River Bank Erosion
Bank erosion can have a severe effect on the nearby area. If there are structures such as houses alongside the banks of the river, erosion can weaken their structural integrity. If the erosion progresses too far, the homeowner may have to abandon or relocate the home.
River bank erosion can also alter the shape of a river and change the speed at which it flows. This can trigger further changes as the faster currents cause more erosion and changes downstream.
How to Stop Bank Erosion
There are several ways to stop river bank erosion. The right method for you will depend on the section of the river that needs to be protected and how much of a problem with erosion you’ve been experiencing. Some of the most popular methods are improving vegetation, installing a rip rap, and using TrapBags to stabilize and protect the riverbanks.
What Is a Rip Rap?
A rip rap is a barrier made of rocks and stones that protects the banks of the river from erosion. Rip raps can be effective in areas with heavy water flow, but they have several limitations.
Not only do rip raps clash with the natural look of the environment, but they also prevent many types of wildlife from living in the area. River banks are essential to the healthy ecosystem of a river, as they provide a space for birds to eat, mammals to make their homes, and dragonflies to spawn.
Rip Raps can only be used on gradual slopes, since the rocks can slide down the banks if they are too steep, and they are susceptible to sediment buildup.
Building a Rip Rap
Rip raps should be built with angular rocks that are not going to roll down the slope and that aren’t susceptible to breaking from temperature changes. Igneous rocks such as granite are a good bet for building a rip rap, while materials such as crushed concrete should be avoided.
Placing fabric underneath the rocks will prevent soil from passing between them. In areas with particularly heavy currents, wire frames or fences can be used to prevent the rocks from being washed away.
You can't always predict, but you can always be prepared.
River Erosion Control with TrapBag
TrapBags are a great solution to stop erosion on river banks due to their durability, affordability, and flexibility. They work similarly to sandbags, but they are much stronger and more durable.
TrapBags can be deployed by a small team of laborers using heavy equipment within just a few hours. They can be moved and placed to match the curvature of the river and stacked to protect particularly vulnerable areas.
When weather forecasts predict severe flooding, TrapBags can be filled with dirt, gravel, or other natural materials to create a temporary barrier to protect vulnerable areas of your river banks from erosion. If erosion is a chronic issue in your river, TrapBags can be filled with concrete for a more permanent solution.
Low-Cost River Bank Erosion Control
TrapBags are far more efficient than sandbags, and have been used by individuals and government agencies to stop flooding and erosion from severe storms and hurricanes. They have been trusted to protect vital infrastructure and have prevented homes and businesses from being lost to erosion.
The speed at which TrapBags can be deployed makes them an ideal choice for responding quickly to emergency erosion situations. That’s why families in Florida turned to TrapBag to protect their homes and business from being destroyed by beach erosion in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Order TrapBag Today
Looking to stop erosion on river banks on your property? Contact our friendly staff, and we can show you how TrapBag can create a strong solution for temporary or permanent erosion issues.