Environmental Insights

Erosion Control For Construction Sites

Posted by Tim Lake on Aug 23, 2017 10:41:45 AM

Erosion control is a major concern on construction sites for a wide variety of reasons: safety, aesthetics, cost control, and environmental concerns. There are many ways to address and prevent erosion problems, many of which I addressed in detail here. But today I’d like to delve a little deeper into the concept.

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Topics: Water Management, Environmental Services

French Drain Vs. Trench Drain Vs. Swale

Posted by Tim Lake on Apr 27, 2017 8:33:31 AM

Water is essential to life, and vital to the progress of civilizations. It is delightful to sip on a hot summer day or to watch falling gracefully into a fountain basin. However, water becomes an insidious foe when it decides to start pouring into your basement or collecting in sodden pools on your lawn.

Drainage, therefore, is a constant concern in the landscape. There are various devices designed to direct water over and through the landscape. Sometimes the terms can get confusing, so today I’d like to clarify the difference between three of the most common water diversion mechanisms: trench drains vs. French drains vs. swales.

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Topics: Water Management

When Is The Best Time For An Irrigation Inspection?

Posted by Tim Lake on Mar 18, 2017 10:05:00 AM

Spring is undoubtedly the most exciting time of year in the landscape. The full creative energies of Mother Nature are bursting forth, with new blooms and new growth everywhere. And all that lush plant material calls for a lot of water! Which, of course, means you’ll want your irrigation system tuned up and ready to handle the job.

Just as with any other mechanical system, it’s very important to inspect your irrigation system regularly. An irrigation inspection, or irrigation audit, will help you discover and avoid problems such as leaks or broken components that could cause damage to your landscape and/or raise your water bill.

You can inspect your irrigation system yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so and have the time. Otherwise, contact us for a professional irrigation system inspection.

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Topics: Water Management

6 Ways To Save Money And Reduce Water Usage With A Smart Irrigation System

Posted by Tim Lake on Feb 14, 2017 9:41:00 AM

Remember life without GPS? We got along, but sometimes it’s hard to remember how. I can’t tell you how many hours and how many gallons of fuel I’ve saved simply by using this one type of smart technology.

I’m sure it’s paid for itself many times over.

Your plants have no need for travel directions, but there’s another type of smart technology that offers similar savings for your landscape: smart irrigation.

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Topics: Water Management

Erosion Control Solutions for Steep Slopes on Georgia Properties

Posted by Tim Lake on Jan 6, 2017 10:05:30 AM
Steeply sloped land is a landscaping challenge, plain and simple. Slopes require careful treatment to prevent erosion which can be unsightly and even lead to property damage, environmental degradation and/or hazardous conditions.

There are many ways to address a slope. Which one to choose for your property depends on a number of factors, including aesthetics, site conditions, and budget.

First, let’s distinguish between two major categories of erosion control: soft and hard. Soft solutions include any flexible infrastructure that helps keep soil in place. This includes the plants themselves, but there are also many types of materials available that supplement and augment the anti-erosion effect of plant roots. Hard solutions, as their name suggests, include the use of hardscape elements.

Here is a rundown of some of the best options we have found for steep slope erosion control in Georgia.

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Topics: Water Management

The 8 Best Trees And Shrubs For Erosion Control In Georgia And The Southeast

Posted by Tim Lake on Oct 25, 2016 10:02:00 AM

When it comes to erosion control, design is often not the highest concern. For that reason, we rarely use trees and shrubs for erosion control, especially on commercial and industrial sites. Instead, we usually consider the best plants for erosion control to be grasses and other low-growing plants that are cost-effective to install, quick to establish and readily colonize an area.

However, we do sometimes run into situations where aesthetics take priority. Certainly on a residential site there’s no reason your sloped areas shouldn’t be as beautifully landscaped as the rest of the property. Many municipal and commercial sites can likewise benefit from a designer’s eye.

In these cases trees and shrubs can be an excellent addition to erosion control plantings. On highly viewed slopes near apartment buildings, retail centers, malls, outlet centers, resorts, and similar developments, trees and shrubs add interest to what otherwise might be a boring and uninspiring slope covered in lovegrass or juniper.

Using trees for erosion control can be beneficial in other ways, too. A mixed planting of trees, shrubs, and understory plants avoids a monoculture and brings greater resilience from pests and disease. Trees can help with noise abatement, reduce the heat island effect in urban areas, and bring a sense of calm to drivers and pedestrians. On highway corridors and interstate exits, strategically planted trees and shrubs are visually appealing and can help to reduce glare from oncoming headlights.  

With that in mind, we’d like to highlight some of the trees and shrubs we’ve found best suited for erosion control in the Southeast.

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Topics: Water Management

Tips for Hiring Irrigation Companies In GEORGIA (DUBLIN, Macon and Throughout Central Georgia)

Posted by Tim Lake on Oct 14, 2016 9:48:34 AM

The best investment you can make for your lawn and landscape plants is an irrigation system. A properly installed and maintained irrigation system will keep your lawn and landscape plants in tip top shape.

A state-of-the art irrigation system is also the most efficient way to use our precious water resource; it’s not only good for the environment, but good for your pocketbook if your water is metered by a municipality.

To achieve superior results you need to hire a superior irrigation specialist to install and maintain your system.

Here is where people sometimes get all wet. You see, irrigation installation and maintenance is a specialty service. If you bought a new car and were experiencing problems with the computer electronics, would you seek out a backyard mechanic, or take it back to the dealership? I believe you would choose the latter.

The same can be said for installing and maintaining an irrigation system. It’s best to find someone with the proper credentials to do this work. A little homework now can save you a lot of headaches later. Believe me, we know. Much of the work we do as a professional irrigation contractor in central and southeast Georgia is repair and replace irrigation installations done by slipshod companies. Why not get it right the first time?

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Topics: Water Management

The 12 Best Erosion Control Ground Cover Plants For Georgia

Posted by Tim Lake on Oct 11, 2016 2:15:41 PM

One doesn’t normally think of plants as tools, but when it comes to erosion control, ground cover plants are about the best tool imaginable. Ground cover plants provide an inexpensive and easily maintained solution to erosion problems on slopes, along roadways, and on construction sites - any place where disturbed or exposed soil is present.

Choosing erosion control plants is an art in itself. The best groundcover for erosion control on one site may be utterly unsuitable on the next, depending on a number of factors.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to consider when selecting the best plants for erosion control in various situations:

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Topics: Water Management, Environmental Services

Irrigation Maintenance 101: Should I Replace Or Repair Leaky Valves?

Posted by Tim Lake on Jul 15, 2015 11:32:00 AM

Leaky valves in your heart are very bad news. Leaky valves in your commercial landscape irrigation system? Not much better.

While they won’t take a toll on your health, leaky irrigation valves can wreak havoc on the health of your lawn. And they can do a real number on your water utility bill, too.

Of course, this is something every property manager we know would like to avoid. The key here is to keep an eye out for red flags around your landscape.

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Topics: Water Management

7 Water Management Solutions To Reduce Your Water Bill

Posted by Tim Lake on Jun 18, 2015 10:30:00 PM

It’s official, according to the U.S. EPA: Americans waste as much as 50% of the water they use outdoors, largely from inefficient watering methods and systems.

What, you say? Water is cheap. Why worry?

Well, yes, if you compare it to gasoline, water is cheap. But when you add up all the gallons used to keep a landscape looking lush and beautiful, water can be a significant monthly expense. For a large property, it can easily add up to hundreds of dollars per month.

Using water wisely is also a responsible environmental choice. Here in central Georgia, we may not expect to experience the extremes of drought suffered in California and Texas. However, it never hurts to be prepared, and adopting smart water use strategies can reduce or prevent problems before they occur.

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Topics: Water Management