El Nino

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

EL Nino has arrived - Are you                                                                        (and your project sites) Ready?!

This year's El Niño, which is forecast to become one of the strongest on record, is expected to bring hard drenching rain to southern California. Great for drought relief, but for many homeowners, project managers, and contractors the fear of mudslides is very real.  Storms drenched California just last week, with over 4" of rain recorded at Ventura CA in 3 days of storms.

More rain is forecast for this week bringing a flash-flood watch for California. Lanes on U.S. Route 101 in Ventura County were closed briefly due to flooding and debris flow. More rock slides and flooding are sure to follow in the weeks ahead.

It's not too late to protect your project sites!

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At S & S Seeds, we are your native seed and erosion control product experts. We offer a full line of 'Erosion Insurance' solutions depending on your project needs. With the severe weather coming standard BMP practices may not be enough to protect your sites this year. Hydromulch fiber, tackifier or flocculant which performed well enough in the drought will not have the staying power to resist hard rain. In addition to standard runoff protections; wattles, sand bags, etc., designers should consider a higher performing erosion control material.  

Three options to consider:

      Treatment                          Effectiveness          Longevity        Installed Cost

   Good- ProMatrix™ EFM           95%                    6-9 months           $ .06/SF

   Better- HydroBlanket BFM       95%                   9-12 months           $ .08/SF

   Best- Flexterra HP FGM          99%                   15-18 months         $ .10/SF

Bonded Fiber Matrix (BFM) has been the go-to solution for steep slope conditions for landscape architects, and DOT installations for many years. Compared to standard hydromulch fiber and tackifier BFM is much more resistant to rain. Pre-blended with high performing tackifier BFM should be considered when the slope is steep > 3:1, with moderately erosive soil types, and a longevity of 9-12 months is desired to protect the soil and establish vegetation. There is one limitation with any BFM product as the contractor needs dry soil and dry weather to apply. BFM installations require at least 24 hours of dry weather after spraying to insure adequate drying.

For very steep slopes or critical sites where a hard rain would create erosion and release sediment upon waterways, buildings, or road structures, engineers should select a high performance matrix which will resist intense rainfall. Flexterra® HP FGM-Flexible Growth Media can even be applied on wet sites or even in light rain!


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Flexible Growth Media™, (FGM) is comprised of long strand wood fibers, pre-blended with thick biopolymer tackifier, & reinforced by interlocking bio-fibers creating a highly durable erosion resistant matrix. Contractors spray FGM up and down the slope from 2 or more directions to fully cover all exposed soil.  The fiber matrix forms a blanket of protection holding seed & fiber firmly to the soil beneath. Most importantly for this El Nino year-Flexterra HP FGM can be applied on wet sites and is immediately effective!

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 Flexterra® HP FGM, used with a combination of sediment controls on a Slide Repair project on San Marcos Pass, California Highway 154.