Substation Stabilization in Eastern Virginia



Case study in permanent erosion control

An emergency spillway, slope and outfall channel near a local substation were experiencing costly erosion issues, as the sod frequently had to be fixed or replaced after big storm events. A previous attempt to use turf reinforcement mats (TRM) had not proved effective. The sod never had time to establish a strong root system before another heavy rain event would occur.


In order to eliminate the costly repairs, the client desired a permanent erosion control and soil stabilization solution that would withstand any high-flow events prior to vegetation being established.


Solution and installation: ShearForce 10

Rip rap was initially selected to resolve the slope failure, blown-out outfall channel and emergency spillway vegetation concerns. Unfortunately, 100 truckloads of rip rap would have been required on a jobsite where truck access was limited.


A local county engineer recommended ShearForce 10 due to its ease of installation (45 rolls were required to cover 13,000 square feet, taking up half a truck load), immediate protection from erosion, ease of maintenance (mowable with no other maintenance required) and more aesthetically pleasing appearance.


All three applications were outfitted with ShearForce 10. Because the ground was already prepared and seeded, the installation process was simple. When the prep work was complete, the mats were simply unrolled and pinned into place with anchor trenches dug upstream to prevent uprooting of the matting. Ferguson used 12-inch pins with washers to anchor the mats down and 6-inch U staples to hold the mats together along the seams.


Ferguson’s hurricane-strength results

While the owner was thrilled with the results following installation, the installation and term “immediate protection” was put to the test almost two weeks later when Hurricane Isaias came through, dumping 6 inches of rainfall on the site, with wind gusts of more than 50 mph.


Explore installation photos before and after Hurricane Isaias in PDF >>


This storm would have devastated the existing sod or a newly installed TRM. The newly installed ShearForce successfully protected all areas from erosion and was not affected by the storm. After experiencing this success, the owner is now installing the product on other sites as well.


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