Roots and Grass in Natural Reservoir Banks

Roots and Grass in Natural Reservoir Banks

In reservoirs which have been formed by simply throwing a dam across a valley, and where the sides are of natural earth the formation of grass and other vegetation on these hanks is of great importance. The reason for this is that the roots of the vegetation—especially of a tough grass growth—will prevent the falling away or disintegration of the dirt banks during heavy rains or freshets. In the intertwining of the roots a framework is formed which holds the loose earth in place and avoids the washing away or the formation of gullies by the rain, which will eventually cause great damage to the banks and render the water turbid and muddy. It should also be remembered that in different sections of the country various varieties of grasges are indigenous, and the species that will best thrive in the section in which the reservoir is situated should be chosen in cultivating the grass. In the first stages of its cultivation the grass should be kept well-watered, care being taken not to wash out the young seedlings during the operation. When sodding is resorted to, in the case of a hank with very sharp inclines, a plan suggested by one authority is to drive a series of stakes into two or three of the rows of the sod and the underlying earth, which, if driven deep enough, will tend to hold the sod in place and avoid slippage. The sod should also be kept well watered, in its first stages.

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