How to Protect Nearby River Banks from the Effects of Your Construction Project

If you have a major construction project ahead, you will be well aware that you have to protect the environment from any unwanted impact. In particular, you have to avoid the possibility of displaced materials entering nearby water bodies or rivers through a process of erosion, triggered by your activities. What types of solution are available to help protect these water bodies so that you don't inadvertently pollute and risk fines and other damage?

Available Solutions

River embankments are particularly vulnerable whenever a major construction is taking place nearby, and you can minimise soil erosion with a number of different solutions.

Fibre Rolls

For example, you could place rolls of a very specific and biodegradable material on top of the bank, anchoring them in place. Often, coconut fibres are chosen, which are then covered with polyethylene mesh, and once the solutions are put in place, vegetation can be brought in on top. When the vegetation takes hold, the roots will interact with the fibres within the roll to form a sturdy defence, and it will also require a relatively low amount of maintenance.


If the bank in question is more rugged and less able to cope with the introduction of vegetation, you can use a different type of product that incorporates a large number of small rocks within a wire mesh. Sometimes, developers choose to fill the mesh with rubble or concrete from a deconstruction process, although these mattresses can be somewhat difficult to anchor, especially if the water flow can be inconsistent.


If the riverbank is already protected to a certain extent by mature trees, then a process known as "revetment" can be used to anchor them into the bank. However, this will require constant maintenance and is not recommended in any areas where a particularly high rate of erosion may be expected.

Tree Root Composite

Finally, a more complex solution may be installed towards the bottom of any slope by introducing complex tree root materials to provide a sturdy footing. In certain cases, this can help to slow the overall water flow rate, and it has also been known to create underwater habitats for different forms of wildlife. This requires a great deal of planning and maintenance, however, and is normally only used in very challenging circumstances.

Narrowing Down Your Choice

Have a word with experts in erosion and sediment control as you pick the best solution to help keep your development out of trouble.