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    IECA: Environmental Connection 2015

    Great news! You are still able to sign up for next weeks conference in Portland! And boy will you be happy to hear our very own, John McCullah will be holding an all day course on The Effective Best of the BMPs!

    Effective erosion and sediments control is rooted in a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of site processes and basing the selection and application of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on those processes.

    Case studies will be used to describe challenging site conditions and how BMPs were selected and installed to provide sediment and erosion control. Dirt Time videos will give attendees a close to "hands-on" experience from the classroom environment.

     For more details, and how to register for the conference click here !!

    Don't miss out on your chance to attend an awesome class!!

    Portland - here we come!!

    -The Dirt Time Team


    The Dirt Time 'Complete Works'

    The Dirt Time Complete Works is now available!

    The Complete Works is divided up into two DVD sets - The BMP (Best Managed Practices) set and the BioEngineering Set.  They are available together for only $299 or separately for $175.00 each.  

    Order them now at the WatchYourDirt Shop (Click Here).

    Here's what is on each of the four discs...

    BMP Set Disc One 

    • Hydromulch
    • Hydromulch on a large area cover up
    • Compost Blanket
    • Blown Straw
    • RECP / Erosion Control Blankets
    • Silt Fencing
    • Sediment Ponds
    • Theory of Ditch Check
    • Gravel Ditch Checks
    • Gravel Bag Ditch Checks
    • Fiber Rolls Ditch Checks
    • Triangular Silt Dike Ditch Checks
    • Enviroberm Ditch Checks
    • Hay Bales:  The Good & The Bad
    • Straw Talk - A discussion about different straw types and straw theory 

    BMP Set Disc Two

    • Articulate Concrete Blocks
    • Low Water Crossings
    • Stabilized Construction Entrances - Traditional
    • Stabilized Construction Entrances  - Rumble Strips
    • Turf Reinforcement Mats in a Channel
    • The 'Green Armor System'
    • Energy Dissipators - Traditional (rock)
    • Energy Dissipators - ScourStop
    • Extreme Slope Stabilization
    • Extreme Slope Stabilization - Update (6 months later)


    BioEngineering Set -  Disc One

    The Willow Creek Project (Follows a large Scale Riverbank stabilization from start to finish), detailing...

    • Rock Vanes
    • Longitudinal Peak Stone Toe Protection (Rock Toe)
    • Slope Prep & Trackwalking
    • Soil Nailing
    • Hydromulching
    • Fiber Rolls
    • Gully Repair
    • Live Willow Staking
    • Live Siltation
    • Modified Brush Layering
    • Soil Flaps
    • Slope Stabilization 

    BioEngineering Set - Disc Two 

    • Rock Vanes
    • Large Woody Debris
    • Live Pole Drains
    • Modified Brush Layering (2)
    • Vegetated RipRap
    • VMSE (Soil Wrapping)




    It's coming - The BioEngineering Set!!!

     We are pleased to announce one of our newest creations!

    The BioEngineering Set includes to jam packed DVDs geared towards well - BioEngineering!

    Please feel free to contact us at for more information and how to reserve your copy today!!!

     Or visit our Online Store at

    - The Dirt Time Team


    Sg. Pedu is COMPLETE!!-

    This was quite a project for sure!!  Remember the purpose was to increase the low-flow water surface elevation so the irrigation pumps can draw water.  

    This multi-million $$$ irrigation project serves the regions rubber tree, banana, and fruit plantations and rice growing.  The facilities are co-managed by JPS (Malaysian Department Irrigation and Drainage) and MADA (Malaysian Agricultural Development Authority).

    Construction  started about August 16.  At first work was a little slow while we coordinated all the heavy equipment and rock delivery.  Transportation of the bigger rock needed was problematic because it was difficult to dump and could easily damage the trucks - lost a couple of tailgates and sideboards!!

    We also had to disassemble the existing gabion baskets.  The Gabion Check Dam was built a couple of years prior.  It was indented to raise the low water surface elevation about 6-9 ft (2-3m) but the “mighty” Pedu River did “an end run” and eroded about 20m of the right descending banK.  We took down 2 layers of baskets (about 2 m), left one layer in place (which became our low-water bridge to the other side) and built an Engineered Newbury Riffle.  

    The riffle crest was about 30 m upstream of the old gabion crest and about 60 m downstream of the pumps.  The crest was approximately 2.5m high and the riffle is 40m long.  The design criteria for Newbury Rock Riffles (NCHRP Report 544) is 10 to 20:1  (riffle length:crest height).  We used over 3000m2 (or approx. 5600 T) of stone!!

    It was not feasible nor practicable to deliver or use 5000T of really large stone, that is probably why Gabions were the first choice.  What we did was used a mixture of well-graded, poorly-sorted angular granitic stone.  The rock graded from 36” (mean diameter) to 2”.  D50 was probably in the range of 12-16”.  

    Construction:  The most critical component and difficult construction is the required manner of laying the rock.  It takes quite a while to understand how to compress, buttress and build the structure - one does not simply place large rock on bottom, followed next larger etc.  I try to visualize “making” as many “contact points between adjacent rocks” as possible.  Really large rocks might have 3 or 4 contact points while a well-graded, self-launching stone has infinitely more.  

    Also the riffle must be built in a way to minimize turbulent flow while having as much surface roughness as possible.  

    We also build one Bendway Weir about 20m upstream of the Newbury Riffle.  Because the Pump House and structures are on a gentle bend in the river (the pump on inner bend) I determined a redirective structure would ensure the high flows went over the crest and not around the structure.  Additionally we laid a tie-back/keyway almost 300 ft into the Right descending bank!!

     The last two weeks of work was challenging because the communication and construction oversight had to be done long-distance.  The construction crew, with oversight from Osman and Wing, have became experts!!  Now we shall all wait and see and monitor how the structures.

    You can now see the structure and reach in its entirety.  

    Thanks for reading

    - John McCullah, Dirt Time TV Host


    FUN FACT: BMP: Boulder Clusters - What is it???

    Watch Your Dirt Fun Fact of the Week!!!

    Boulder Clusters are one of the Best Management Practices used out in the field today!

    Boulder clusters are simple, natural-looking features that add visual diversity and habitat to degraded, uniform reaches. Consequences of failure are generally slight.

    What are Boulder Clusters?

    Boulder Clusters are large rocks placed strategically in a stream either one itself or in groups to protect eroding banks and provide instream cover for the organisms of the river. Natural streams with beds coarser than gravel often feature large roughness elements like boulders that provide hiding cover and velocity shelters for fish and other aquatic organisms. If a constructed or modified channel lacks such features, adding boulder clusters may be an effective and simple way to improve aquatic habitat.

    What are the benefits of using Boulder Clusters?

    Boulder clusters provide hiding cover and velocity shelters for fish through the turbulence found in their wakes. They also provide stony substrate for attachment-type macroinvertebrates. If bed material is fine enough for scour to occur, boulders also develop stable pool habitat and physical diversity associated with a range of depths, velocities, and bed material sizes. Boulder clusters can make a relocated or reconstructed channel look more natural and add visual interest to an otherwise uniform view. If desirable, boulder clusters may be configured to trap woody debris and provide additional cover benefits. Boulder clusters provide fish rearing habitat, and areas for adult fish. 

    What type of "boulder" should be used?

    The boulders should be found along the surrounding watershed - as raw as you can find them! Or if boulders are not available, imported boulders should resemble native materials. Irregular-shaped angular boulders of durable rock are preferred, although some installations have been done with gabions and other man-made materials. Gabions and similar devices are aesthetically inferior and eventually fail due to abrasion, corrosion or vandalism. Boulders may be placed using a large excavator with a thumb, or other heavy equipment.


    For more information on BMPs and Watch Your Dirt Facts, please subscribe to our blog here!

    Also, for infomation on our BMP publications, software, and case studies - plus how to get your hands on one

    check out our store here @ our WatchYourDirtStore !!!


    Thank for reading and see you next week 

    - The Dirt Time Team