Erosion Control FAILURES:

1) HPTRM failure

What is HPTRM?

HPTRM stands for High-Performance Turn Reinforcement Mat and is considered hardened shoreline. It is a thick, anchored poly matting that is secured to slopes, river edges, lake banks, and other areas where water meets land. It is used underneath sod, but in areas of extreme erosion with constant water flow, wave-action, or an unavoidably steep slope (greater than 4:1).

Why do we hate it so much?

Study after study shows that it just doesn’t work. Here are some pictures taken by civil engineers exposing its faults (see attached). The typical lake, pond, canal, or river shoreline here in SW Florida does not endure heavy wave-action (constant, violent pounding by wakes or waves) or heavy current, ergo, the use of HPTRM in these situations leads to a solution that is way over-engineered, over-priced, and overly complicated.

What is a good alternative?

Rip rap, shell, or Seabreeze proprietary non-hardened shoreline stabilization system.


2) Geotube failure

What is geotube?

Geotube is a system in which woven fabric tubes are filled with lake-bottom sediment or organic matter and laid on top of each other along a shoreline to help stabilize the bank.

Why do we hate it so much?

  • Contrary to popular belief, sod does not cover up geotubes because the fill dirt underneath the sod simply washes out from under it, leaving the sod to die a slow, gruesome death. (see pictures)
  • We have seen some companies fill their geotubes with pine straw – an organic filler that biodegrades in a few years or less and leaves flat, ineffective tubes behind. The entire lakeshore must be redone.
  • Other erosion control companies also fill the geotubes with lake-bottom sediment, allow it to dry, and then slice the tubes open to leave behind the sediment. This restores the banks back to their original state, right? Wrong! The loose sediment simply washes back down into the bottom of the lake after a little rain.


3) Gabion basket failure

What are Gabion baskets?

A cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications, and landscaping.

Why do we hate it so much?

  • Expensive
  • Cage can break, rust, or fail
  • Provides nesting areas for rats and rodents


4) Fill dirt failure

What is fill dirt and how is it used in erosion control?

Fill dirt is simply earth that is mined from the ground here in Florida and it is placed inside of washouts, crevices, holes, and drop-offs along lake and pond banks to restore the bank to its original slope.

Why do we hate it so much?

Fill dirt is ineffective when used by itself because it has nothing to hold it in (see pictures). Even when compacted, Florida fill does not stay in place and thus must be used as a component of a more elaborate erosion control system such as our Seabreeze proprietary erosion control system.