Erosion occurs in drainage ditches when the water moves over the soil with greater force than the soil can withstand. Soil particles are picked up by the water and carried away. Best management practices for soil erosion include anchoring the soil in place, slowing the force of water or trapping the sediment being carried away by the water.
Planting a vegetative buffer inside a drainage ditch will help to anchor the soil in place. Vegetation such as grass, clover, legumes or other herbaceous plants will form dense mats of roots that grip the soil and prevent flowing water from taking it away. Some examples of plants that can be used as a vegetative buffer include grasses with extensive root systems such as Bermuda or St. Augustine. These grasses are not only vigorous but are also drought tolerant enough that they will not die during long, dry summer months. Grasses that stay healthy all year round will provide year-round erosion protection.
Slowing Water Runoff
If water runoff is slowed, it will not pick up soil particles and take them away. Slowing water runoff can be accomplished in a number of ways. One way that many farmers use to slow water runoff is to build a soil berm along the edges of a drainage ditch. The berm blocks water from running directly into the ditch and forces it underground to percolate through the soil into the drainage ditch.
Farmers that utilize berms around their drainage ditches may use a sump to trap the sediment there. A sump is a low spot built just behind a berm. The sump provides a place for sediment to settle while the water percolates into the ground. Drainage ditches may also be linked with raised culverts. When a culvert is raised, heavier sediment cannot reach it to drain away. Smaller ditches, such as the type found along roadsides, may also be lined with hay bales or even a synthetic, water-absorbent polymer to slow or halt the flow of water long enough to collect sediments.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How to Dig a Ditch
Ditches serve a multitude of purposes. They can be used to irrigate crops, install foundation waterproofing or used as fortification. Read on...
How to Make a Natural Drainage Ditch
Excess water can erode landscaping, damage home foundation and create a very muddy and messy situation for a homeowner. To prevent water...
How to Install a Driveway Drainage Ditch
Creating a drainage ditch is a cost effective way to manage water buildup on your property. If you do not want rain...
How to Fix Ditch Erosion
Ditch erosion is a major headache for cities and towns as ditches perform the important task of draining water away from roads....
How to Line a Ditch With Rock
Lining a ditch with rock enhances any ditch. It improves water flow through the ditch, can trap trash and sediment and can...
Landscaping Ideas for a Ditch
Landscaping involving a ditch must necessarily include plants and other materials that are water tolerant or water resistant. When using hard surface...
Prevention Techniques for Ditch Erosion
Ditches created through landscaping procedures, near building sites, on roadsides or elsewhere are susceptible to erosion. Erosion occurs when water carries soil...