Evaluation of Texas compost specifications for stormwater erosion control Academic Article uri icon


  • Growing urbanization has led to increasing concern and emphasis on better construction site stormwater management. The objectives of this study were to determine the effectiveness of using compost rather than conventional hydroseeding or topsoil to reduce erosion from disturbed soils. The runoff rates, interrill erosion rates, and interrill erodibility factors from five compost and two control treatments (hydroseeding and topsoil) were compared. Compost treatments followed Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) specifications for compost applied as an erosion control at 1.3 and 5 cm depths. Rainfall simulation was used to apply a storm of 92 mm h-1. Surface runoff was collected after 5 min of rainfall (first-flush) and during the last 30 min of rainfall (steady-state). The first-flush mean runoff from the 5 cm depth general-use compost treatment was significantly higher than that of all other treatments. The other treatments (50% woodchips and 50% compost blend at 1.3 and 5 cm depths) and hydroseeding had significantly lower runoff and erosion rates compared to topsoil and compost manufactured topsoil at first-flush and steady-state. Furthermore, there were no performance differences between 1.3 and 5 cm compost applications at first-flush or steady-state. The TxDOT specification for erosion control compost depth might be able to be reduced from 5 to 1.3 cm. 2007 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Birt, L. N., Persyn, R. A., & Smith, P. K.

complete list of authors

  • Birt, LN||Persyn, RA||Smith, PK

publication date

  • January 2007