[permaculture] Access road run-off control strategies.

Richard Archer perma at juggernaut.com.au
Wed Dec 31 16:32:41 EST 2003

At 12:53 AM +0100 31/12/03, Antonio Scotti wrote:

>The drain could possibly have a hard bottom (stones?) to avoid further
>erosion on the roadsides...but then it would be quite a job doing it!

This doesn't work. The water just flows around under the stones and you
finish up with an erosion gully with your stones sitting in the bottom
of it. Some smart fellow set up that sort of system on the property we
bought last year and we have to get another fellow in with a grader to
do the job properly.

Fortunately our access track isn't cut into the side of a cliff!
So we can run swales around the hill, with the track going up and
over the swales.

My best suggestion to you would be to try to have the water run off
the track as perpendicular to the track direction as you can. That
way you only have a small amount of water running off onto any one
point on the cliff. Hopefully by spreading the flow you won't have
any really bad erosion "hot spots".

Another thing which may be possible is to establish a grass cover
along the downhill side of the track. Even a half-metre wide strip
would help filter, slow and absorb the water. Of course there probably
isn't room for this, as the track would have been created at the
bare minimum width to cater for traffic. Some vegetation on the cliff
face would be nice too, but perhaps impossible to establish.

Good luck!


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