State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2006GA118B
Title: Using compost to control soil erosion and manage stormwater under concentrated flow conditions
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2006
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: GA 12
Focus Categories: Sediments, Education, Non Point Pollution
Keywords: Erosion Control, Compost, field study
Principal Investigators: Risse, Lawrence Mark; zhu, xianben
Federal Funds: $ 18,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 36,000
Abstract: Erosion and sediment control from development and construction activities is a major water quality issue in rapidly growing areas in Georgia. New Federal and State regulations are requiring improved erosion and sediment control and the State is developing improved educational programs for developers, building contractors, inspectors, designers, plan reviewers, and government officials. Compost blankets and compost filter berms are one such technology that is rapidly being adopted and utilized in Georgia. Previous research by the principle investigator and others around the country has proven that compost blankets can control erosion as well or better than traditional methods under normal rainfall and sheet flow conditions. Very little research has been done to indicate how compost blankets will respond under concentrated flow conditions. Without such information, designers and regulatory officials can not make decisions concerning its applicability. The purpose of this research will be to develop models of how compost blankets will react to concentrated flow conditions. Initial lab studies have been conducted in the principle investigator's lab, applying sequence of concentrated flows in a 3 * 1 * 1m flume using a Cecil soil as the control. Preliminary results indicate that the yard waste compost provided a weak fit to the shear stress model (R2 was 0.15), compared to the Cecil soil with a R2 value 0.95. Rill erodibility for yard waste compost was less than that of Cecil soil under our experiment. The objective of this field study is to validate our lab studying findings under field conditions that will eliminate most of the inconsistence of lab experiment to real application, and to develop a model for erosion process of compost blankets based on this solid tested data. This will be followed by development of a comprehensive specification for using compost blankets to control erosion and manage stormwater. These studies will provide design and regulatory professionals with the information they need to insure that water quality is protected and that Georgia remains on the cutting edge of applying new erosion control technologies.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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