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Erosion

Erosion on the creek bank.

Erosion takes place when the soil is blown or washed off bare soil, such as a ​construction site.

Erosion can also happen during a heavy storm. Rain flows into storm drains, then through underground pipes to nearby creeks. The large amount of rushing water in the creek can eat away at the sides of the stream. Dirt particles end up in the water and the stream banks can become unstable. More about stream bank erosion.

When soil erodes the particles stay suspended in water for quite a while. This can clog fish gills, shade out aquatic life and make our streams appear "muddy." 

mud clogging storm drain​When the dirt particles in the water finally fall, the dirt often piles up on stream bottoms. The sediment builds up, often smothering vegetation, causing streams and ponds to fill in, and destroying aquatic habitat.

How can erosion be controlled?

The best way to control erosion is to plant vegetation in bare soil.

The roots of plants will bind the soil particles together and reduce the potential for erosion.

Generally speaking, the larger the root system the more erosion control. So trees and shrubs are often used to stabilize stream banks while grasses are used to stabilize gentler slopes.

If you see soil erosion affecting a storm drain or a creek, call 311 (704-336-7600) or report it online​.

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