Erosion and Runoff in the Home Landscape
- Soil erosion occurs when soil particles are carried off
by water or wind and deposited somewhere else, such as into a stream
or at the bottom of a sinkhole. Soil particles and pollution are carried
by runoff - water that does not soak into the ground, but flows over
the surface and runs to another area, such as into storm drains, sinkholes,
or streams. Controlling erosion and runoff takes a dedicated effort,
but will significantly reduce water pollution and protect and
save the soil.
Signs of Erosion and Runoff
- Tree roots, small stones,
or rocks become exposed.
- Small rills, gullies, or unsightly bare
soil areas develop.
- Soil splashes on windows and outside walls.
- Sediment and
mud deposits collect in low areas or on lawns, sidewalks, and
- Even short rain events leave water flowing over the soil
surface or standing in low spots.
Good Reasons to Control Erosion and
- Runoff can wash sediment, fertilizers,
and pesticides into surface streams and sinking streams, contributing
to both surface water and groundwater pollution.
removes valuable topsoil and clogs waterways, reservoirs,
and spring basins with sediment.
can contribute to flooding problems on adjacent properties when runoff
from paved and/or eroded areas
is diverted into sinkholes.
- Erosion and runoff can increase the risk
of sinkhole collapse in karst areas.
Landscapes to Control Erosion
- Landscaping with grasses and ground covers not only adds
beauty and value to your property, but also helps control erosion
the amount and speed of runoff.
- Landscape yards to minimize rainwater
run-off. Preserve surrounding trees and vegetation to the extent
- Steep slopes can easily be eroded and,
even if erosion is controlled, may allow water to collect in
undesirable areas, such as near house
foundations and around wells. Plan ahead to avoid drainage
and erosion problems, and minimize ground disturbance, and plant
cover to reduce
and increase water penetration into the soil on the slope.