Winter Storm Erosion Control

commercial landscapingIn 2013, in an effort to clean up our oceanfronts and waterways, San Diego regulators implemented new standards to control storm water runoff. The goal is to control contaminants at their point of origin.

One area of concern for local property, facility, apartment and community managers are slopes.

Most of the slopes in San Diego were man made. If they weren’t designed properly or well maintained, erosion can result.

The effects of erosion are:

  • Departure of nutrient rich top soil
  • Burying of plant seed, which can delay growth
  • Chemically treated top soil being introduced into natural habitats

According to the United States Green Building Council, Urban runoff is the number one pollution source in Southern California.

Erosion is the breakdown of soil into sediment, which can travel a few inches or many miles. Erosion is an issue because of San Diego County’s new water runoff regulations. The County wants to minimize the amount of sediment leaving a property and traveling into natural habitats.

The time when issues with slopes will be exposed is San Diego’s storm season – November through January. 

Ideally, a property’s slopes and embankments have healthy plant growth with root systems to prevent erosion. But drought conditions and plant fungus have lead to the death and removal of turf and ground covers. Because of that, slope areas have become more barren and susceptible to erosion.

It doesn’t even have to be a steep slope. This photo is an area with a minimal pitch. But because it’s the lowest point at the base of a large paved area, the result is heavy erosion.

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The following are some ways to reduce erosion on slopes and embankments:

Straw wattle:

Horizontal fiber rolls that are placed across different segments of a slope. Wattle reduces the speed of water flow and traps sentiment.

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Jute netting and straw blanket:

Netting that is spread across an embankment. Plants can grow through the open areas. The netting helps to slow water flow and trap sentiment.

erosion control


Hydroseed is a mixture of water, seed, mulch and binding agent. The seed mixes can be grasses, native shrubs, wildflowers, trees or a combination of all of the above. The process speeds the growth of the vegetation, while the binding agent helps to keep everything in place in the meantime.

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Crushed Rock:

One to three inch rock material is heavy enough to resist water flow. The gravel also helps reduce the speed of water flow. That’s important because more water can then be absorbed by the soil it is traveling over.

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If you’re a Property, Facility, Apartment or Community manager and dealing with eroding slope areas or water runoff, contact the experts at Heaviland Landscape Management today or complete the web form on the right side of this page.

John Gelhard

John Gelhard

New Business Development at Heaviland Landscape Management
Seasoned commercial landscape professional with over twenty years of sales and marketing experience. 2005 San Diego County Apartment Association Vendor of the Year. BOMA, IFMA and CAI SD member.
John Gelhard

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1 reply
  1. Ashley Maxwell
    Ashley Maxwell says:

    I didn’t know that erosion happened when dirt breaks down to a sediment form. Thanks for your comment about how it must be controlled because it gets rid of healthy soil. My husband is considering erosion control services for his father’s farmland.

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