New erosion control
Reclamation projects along the Price River are planned for nearly its entire length, from Scofield on down. One of the first is a short section of 18,000 square feet near the Castle Dale exit in Price, in which a new cutting edge erosion control system is being installed that utilizes local vegetation to help hold the steep banks in place.
Called Slope Growth, the system was originally developed in South Korea by Young - Koo Kim, who is also company chairman. Kim describes the system as a method of creating an environment which fosters growth of both plants and microbes. The system also promotes overall ecosystem health.
"The system does two things: One, it stabilizes the slope, and, two, it enables the soil to retain moisture for a long time to support the plants," said Kim.
While alternative methods of erosion control exist that utilize plant growth, they require prep work and constant watering. The Slope Growth system only requires a mesh to be layered down and a one-time watering. After the mesh is in place, a mixture of dirt, seeds and biosolids are sprayed on to create a cover. Once the cover is established, the mixture holds to the hillside and fosters plant growth by retaining moisture and other nutrients. Although the application process only requires a few days, the system takes time to fully take hold. The Price River Slope Growth will not begin to grow until next spring.
"After we apply the solid, it works threefold. It helps the erosion and eco-system and it holds things up because it sustains growth of the plants," said Mark Marine of Slope Growth.
One concern about the system is that it utilizes biosolids from waste water treatment plants. Marine adds that there is no risk of contamination after an area has been treated, but he adds that this is an added bonus because it saves landfill space.
The location of the project is no accident, either. Some of the treated slopes were heavily eroded, with houses at-risk because they are located less than 100 yards from the edge. However, with the new system in place, this risk should be minimized. Marine also indicated that Slope Growth has the ability to work on nearly every grade, which is important because banks on the Price River can be very steep.
Overall, the project is a cooperative effort among Price City, Carbon County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Utah Division of Forestry and many others. The Division of Forestry is also working with Boy Scouts to reclaim some of the same sections of the river.
This collaboration was reported two weeks ago in the Sun Advocate. Alison McCluskey, coordinator of that effort, wanted to thank Rim to Rim Restoration of Moab for facilitating the project.