Protecting our natural
resources for generations to
come is what we do.
Watershed Institute, Inc. (not-for-profit) and Watershed Land Trust, Inc.
|Ninnescah River, Kansas
Continuous Berm Bendway Weirs and Vanes
These pictures show a
3-day hands-on workshop
sponsored by the Kansas
Commission (KSCC). Phil
Balch coordinated the
workshop with the
assistance of Brock
Emmert and the Kansas
Department of Health and
Derrick, with the Corps of
Engineers, Vicksburg, MS
and John McCullah, Salix
Applied Earthcare in
Redding, CA, were the
If you click on the pictures
they will enlarge and you
can see the massive
amounts of earth being
eroded. This particular
farm is losing tons of earth.
You can really see what
happens when the
vegetation is lost.
This demonstration and training workshop was intended to 'test' the feasibility and efficacy of utilizing sand-filled geotextiles to build
re-directive structures. The energy of the water is re-directed away from specific erosion points. These can be a cost-effective
alternative to rock for sand bed streams when rock or large woody debris material is unavailable.
Ninnescah River near Kingman, Kansas (40 miles West of Wichita)
The Continuous Berm Machine (CBM) has a hopper which is filled with sand or aggregate. Note roll of filter fabric on front.
The CBM is pulled forward with a truck or tractor and a continuous sand-filled geotextile encapsulated berm is produced.
"Hog" staples and a seed bag sewing machine was used to close bag. Bags were made up to 30' long.
Phil Balch developed a "spreader bar" and straps for picking up bags.
Dave Derrick (orange) assists with the placement for Bendway Weir Keyway into the bank about 6'. Sacramento Watersheds Action
Group (SWAG) donated the CBM and KSCC paid for transport and all materials needed.
The keyway locations were further reinforced by pole planting, brushlayering, and geoberm bags mounted parallel to flow line. John
McCullah demonstrates proper brushlayering installation.
Weir crest was about 2' high. Brushlayering with geo-berm reinforcements has proved extremely successful in other projects, like
Sulphur Creek in Redding, CA and streambank protection and landslide repair in Chapman Creek, Sechelt, B.C. These keyways
were constructed similar to reinforced soil fill. These "sandbag" vanes were modified so they were flat crested (as opposed to other
vanes that have a sloping crest). These trial vanes were 4-5 bags wide at the bottom, about 35' long, and angled upstream from bank
tangent. At the upstream end of the project (bend) a vane was installed to help re-direct the flows into the bendway weir "field". The
bendway weirs are intended to capture the flows, control the flows through the bend and the last weir is to direct the flow through the
middle of the county road bridge. Professor Tim Keane, KSU, John McCullah, Salix Applied Earthcare, David Derrick, USCOE
-Vicksburg, MS, Phil Balch KSCC, and volunteers help guide the geoberms into place.
Kansas State University Professor Tim Keane looks at the completed vane.
Now it is up to the vegetation, land management (cattle exclusion), and the establishment of a healthy riparian buffer zone to do the job
as the geoberm bags degrade with time.
Between 30-60 people either participated or just "stopped by" to check it out. This is the type of project or community involvement that
begs for a conservation easement. The Watershed Land Trust can help to facilitate such a project and can be used as a mechanism
to protect the efforts in perpetuity.