Erosion Control Toolbox: Stepped Slopes


Stepped slope

This technique consists of a series of small benches, typically between one and two feet in width. Stepped slopes control erosion by breaking up the slope length, which reduces the velocity of stormwater runoff. The steps promote vegetative cover by capturing and retaining loose soil material.

Stepped slopes drawing details

Stepped Slopes Training Video

Click here to watch a short video about Stepped Slopes.

When to Use This Treatment

Consider Using With


  • Reduced stormwater runoff volume and velocity
  • Improved soil, seed, and water holding capacity on steep slope surfaces
  • Improved potential for establishing vegetative cover on steep cut slopes


  • May increase the cost of earthwork activities
  • Requires site accessibility by earthwork equipment
  • May not be practical for sandy or rocky soils
  • For cut slopes only

Standard Specifications

  • Refer to Standard Specifications - Section 19 Earthwork

Plans and Details

  • Indicate stepped slope tread and riser dimensions in a detail on the project plans



Updated: December 17, 2018