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Effectiveness of Compost and Mulch Practices for Erosion Control in a Reclaimed Rock Quarry

A project to compare the effectiveness of various practices including surface application of compost and mulch to control erosion and improve water quality through the establishment of vegetative cover.

Overview and Goals

Storm water runoff from areas of bare soil can convey extremely large amounts of suspended solids into streams and lakes. Providing a protective mulch cover and establishing vegetation on disturbed land substantively reduce erosion and the deposition of sediments in nearby streams and lakes.

Quarries include a variety of disturbed lands that are often lack vegetation almost completely. Similarly, areas disturbed by construction also generate large amounts of sediment during storms, leading to highly visible impacts on nearby surface waters. A quarry-reclamation project in Parker County was selected for field trials.

The aim of this project is to compare the effectiveness of two types of manure compost products and a commonly used wood-based hydromulch in reducing erosion and sediment loss from disturbed soils. The products will also be evaluated to determine how much nitrogen and phosphorus are lost to runoff from each of the treatments.

Results are being used to determine the most effective erosion controls and the potential load reductions associated with the tested practices. See the related Composted Manure Incentive Project.


For More Information

For additional information regarding this project, please contact Bill Carter at 512-239-6771. Or e-mail us at, and reference “Practices for Erosion Control in a Reclaimed Rock Quarry” in the subject line.

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