Erosion Control Toolbox

The purpose of the Caltrans Erosion Control Toolbox is to provide Landscape Architects with a single location that contains the information necessary to design successful, cost-effective and sustainable erosion control treatments. This toolbox serves as a one-stop reference for:

  • Erosion Control Treatments
  • Erosion Control Best Management Practices
  • Erosion Control Standards
  • Erosion Control Guidance

Sustainable Erosion Control Treatments

The Caltrans Technical Guide to Erosion Control Treatment offers tools to assist in the design of sustainable erosion controls on project sites.

Erosion Control Best Management Practices

The table below provides a general overview of various erosion control Best Management Practices (BMPs). Select the erosion control treatment(s) best suited to address deficiencies identified with a project.

Click on the hyper-link at left to obtain more specific information regarding a BMP.

Improve Soil Health

Erosion Control Treatments Max Slope (H:V) [See Legend Below] Cut or Fill? Benefits [See Legend Below]
Description 4:1 3:1 2:1 1.5:1 1:1 Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration (3)
Roughen Soil Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Low Medium Medium
Decompact Soil Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Low Medium High
Stepped Slopes N/A Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cutl Low Medium Medium
Preserve Existing Topsoil Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cut/Fill Low High Medium
Imported Topsoil Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cut/Fill Low Medium Medium
Incorporate Materials Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Low High High

Provide Soil Cover and Improve Soil Health

Erosion Control Treatments Max Slope (H:V) [See Legend Below] Cut or Fill? Benefits [See Legend Below]
Description 4:1 3:1 2:1 1.5:1 1:1 Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration (3)
Duff Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cut/Fill Medium High Medium
Mulch Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cut/Fill Medium Medium Medium
Compost Blanket Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Medium High High

Provide Short Term Soil Cover

Erosion Control Treatments Max Slope (H:V) [See Legend Below] Cut or Fill? Benefits [See Legend Below]
Description 4:1 3:1 2:1 1.5:1 1:1 Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration (3)
Straw Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Fill Medium Low
Hydroseed Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Medium Low Low
Bonded Fiber Matrix Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill Medium Low Low
RECP Jute Mesh Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill Medium Low Low

Provide Long Term Soil Cover

Erosion Control Treatments Max Slope (H:V) [See Legend Below] Cut or Fill? Benefits [See Legend Below]
Description 4:1 3:1 2:1 1.5:1 1:1 Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration (3)
RECP Netting (Type A) Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP Netting (Type B) Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP Netting (Type C) Recommended Recommended Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type A)
N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type B)
N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP Blanket
(Type C)
N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Medium Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type A) N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type B) N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Recommended Cut/Fill High Low Low
RECP TRM (Type C) N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Recommended Cut/Fill High Low Low

Steep Slope Techniques

Erosion Control Treatments Max Slope (H:V) [See Legend Below] Cut or Fill? Benefits [See Legend Below]
Description 4:1 3:1 2:1 1.5:1 1:1 Soil Cover (1) Soil Health (2) Infiltration (3)
Stepped Slopes N/A Recommended Recommended Medium Not Recommended Cutl High Medium Medium
Brush Layering N/A Recommended Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Fill High Medium Medium
RECP Flap N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Fill High Medium Medium
RECP Wrap N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Fill High Medium Medium
Soil Filled RSP N/A N/A Medium Recommended Not Recommended Cutl High Medium Medium
Cellular Confinement N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Not Recommended Cutl High Medium Medium
Wire Blanket N/A N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Cutl High Medium Medium
Wire Mesh Confinement N/A N/A N/A Recommended Recommended Fill High Medium Medium
  1. Treatments rated highly beneficial for soil cover include those that provide protection from raindrop impact and splash erosion. Treatments that provide good cover include mulches, compost, fiber included with hydroseeding, and rolled erosion control nets and blankets.
  2. Treatments rated highly beneficial for soil health include those that improve soil texture, soil structure, fertility, and soil microbiology. Treatments that notably improve soil health include compost incorporate, duff, and reusing local topsoil.
  3. Treatments rated highly beneficial for infiltration include those that slow runoff, improve soil structure and open up the soil texture to increase infiltration of stormwater rather than encourage runoff. Treatments that notably improve infiltration include incorporate materials, roughen soil and preserve existingl topsoil.

Erosion Control Standards

Planning, Design and Establishment

Improve Soil Health

Improve Soil Health & Provide Cover

Short Term Cover

Long Term Cover

Steep Slope Techniques

Planting

Stormwater Treatment

Low Impact Development

Sediment Control

Erosion Control Guidance