StoneMakers Blog

Erosion Control And Concrete Retaining Walls

Soil erosion and surface runoff occurs as water moves along the ground. The more exposed the soil and the faster the rate of flow, the greater the damage and the bigger the concern. It is imperative to make certain a slope is covered or planted so that erosion is minimized.


One of the simplest and significant actions you can take to mitigate the issue of an eroding slope is to break up the rate of water decent by constructing terraces. It’s also what allows somebody to have a garden on an otherwise challenging if not impossible location. Terraces give you the way to create a series of mini-gardens.

Concrete retaining wall 

Erosion is prevented by shortening a potentially long slope into a sequence of more level steps. This allows heavy rains to soak in rather than run off, taking soil with it. Think of terraces like steps in an embankment. Soil is cut out of the hill to create the level tread or landing area. As with garden steps, the level area is not exactly level. Sloped terraces ought to be graded by about 2% perpendicular towards the incline in order to gently direct drainage towards one side or the other.


Proper spacing between slopes depends upon the slope itself. But in all cases, the shorter the slope length, the less chance there is for runoff. Terracing is most effective when the slope is split into discrete segments. For extra water management, you are able to capture and redirect excessive runoff by installing perforated drainage pipe slightly below the surface. Run the pipe across the direction of the slope. Position the drainage pipe in a gravel bed, with the perforated side down. Again, position the drain pipe with a 2% slope within the gravel bed.


When constructing terraces, it is essential to retain the exposed side. The force of water is powerful. It is always flowing downhill together with the pressure could easily push out against the wall; especially in freezing and thawing conditions. The height of a terraced wall depends on the steepness of the slope. However, because of the force of a wall under pressure, it is wise that to seek the assistance of a professional for heights higher than 24 inches (61cm). Also check local building codes for constructing walls and terraces.


Retaining walls are yet another way to slow runoff and erosion but their primary function is to support and retain an embankment. Unlike a terrace that's designed to have a level surface area, hence the name, the area behind a retaining wall can be level or sloped. Materials used for constructing retaining walls are generally more decorative. However, whatever the weight, it has to be strong enough to contain back the pressure of a great amount of soil weight, yet porous enough to be suitable for adequate drainage. Pipes for drainage are usually installed every 24 inches (61cm.) and 6 inches (15cm.) from the ground.


So, now that you know why it’s so essential to retain that sloped area of your yard for runoff and erosion control, I suppose I will go ahead and tell you the way to plant that garden on the slope. It’s easy. Simply make sure the soil behind the terraced support or retaining wall is well amended and plant away. The toughest part was getting the soil level!

Topics: retaining walls, walls