Erosion and Sediment Control

Poster Presentation

Developing seeding and mulching specifications for West Virginia: Training materials and testing

Tuesday, February 13
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Level of Presentation: All: Suitable for a broad audience

This presentation will outline new training material developed to teach seeding and mulching methods in right-of-way locations. These practices are vital to establishing vegetation and controlling erosion. Listeners will learn about updated seeding and mulching specifications in West Virginia, how they are tested, and how they can be implemented.

Establishing vegetation is an effective erosion control technique utilized by state DOTs on disturbed locations. Recent research on new, native seed mixtures, the effect of elevation on seeding, the effects of seedbed preparation, and different mulching methods was conducted at West Virginia University. Based on the results, revisions to the West Virginia Division of Highway’s Section 652 Specifications were recommended. As a result of the many changes to the specifications, training material was developed to expedite the incorporation of the new seeding and mulching methods. One outcome is a training manual that accurately and concisely provides information on the required seedbed preparation, seeding, and mulching based on the conditions of the area to be seeded. The manual informs the reader of the proper methods to use and provides detail as to why those methods are necessary. Seedbed preparation using imported topsoil versus using on-site topsoil is one of the points of emphasis. Proper topsoil usage significantly increases the establishment of vegetation. Biological growth stimulants and hydraulic growth medium have been introduced to the specifications as practices that can increase the quality of the seedbed. The new seed types, seeding dates, and seeding application methods are included. Mulching practices have been changed significantly with a focus on hydraulic erosion control product (HECP) as well as rolled erosion control product (RECP). Straw mulching, HECP, and RECP application processes are detailed. The new methods outlined in the manual will be tested at a large-scale field site in central West Virginia. One of the newly developed seed mixtures will be established on the site and all other required practices will be followed according to the revised specifications. Ground cover, climate conditions, compaction, biomass, and infiltration rates will be monitored over time.

Learning Objectives:

Target Audience: Academic,Contractor,Government Agency,Storm Water

Matthew Hudson

Undergraduate Research Assistant
West Virginia University

Matt Hudson is currently a senior undergraduate student majoring in civil engineering at West Virginia University. He has been involved with both the American Society of Civil Engineer's and Chi Epsilon and is currently the Vice President of both student chapters at WVU. He has worked as an undergraduate research assistant since May of 2017. His future plans are to complete his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Civil Engineering at WVU and to join the work force in the field of geotechnical engineering, water resources engineering, and/or erosion control.

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