Gabions – an Effective Way to Protect Against Flooding
Climate change is a big concern when it comes to the possibility of flooding. There has been a significant increase in major storms, causing heavier rainfall and therefore a big problem with stormwater runoff. In many urban areas, most of the stormwater is collected through drainage systems which ends up in main waterbodies, such as creeks and rivers. During intense rainfall, water rises, causing flooding and property damage.
Flooding can also cause major damage to roadways, especially in the hills and mountainous areas. This can cause not only major disruption to traffic, but also a high risk to anyone in the area at the time.
A common way to help control erosion and water flow along a watercourse in a flat area is with riprap, or loose rock. This can be sufficient in times of slower water flow, however during heavy rain and fast water flow, the loose rock can become dislodged and washed away.
There is a better alternative, especially in areas of fast water flow, and that is the installation of Gabions and Reno mattresses. They become particularly beneficial in areas such as road rehabilitation in hilly areas and along riverbanks and creeks. They can be installed as retaining walls, weirs, detention dams and holding ponds.
Gabion retaining walls create a continuous, flexible and permeable structure that have a much higher chance of staying intact. This is important in areas where scouring can cause slippage into a river or creek bank, and along roadsides where landslides are a risk. Gabions can also control the water pressure and resist any differential settlement and movement.