The Importance of Bringing Back a Pipeline Site’s Natural Vegetation

The Importance of Bringing Back a Pipeline Site’s Natural Vegetation

Laying a pipeline is a huge project, and there’s no doubt that a great deal of land is disturbed in the process. But did you know that pipeline companies fully reclaim the land as soon as they are done?

Here are three things you should know about what happens to the land after a pipeline is built:

  • Pipeline companies fully reclaim the land after a pipeline construction project and monitor their reclamation efforts to ensure they are successful.
  • A pipeline right-of-way is a strip of land up to 130 feet wide. It’s distinctive because activity is very limited in that strip but is returned to its natural state with native plants.
  • Pipeline companies even take a proactive role in protecting the land around their construction activities.

Why Reclaim the Natural Vegetation?

First, it helps bring wildlife back to the region and restores the migration routes of the animals. Topsoil is saved separately from subsoil so that the layers of soil can be restored as closely as possible, and vegetation is replanted. Also, just as the reclamation is monitored to ensure its success, animal activity is also monitored to evaluate any permanent or long-term changes caused by the pipeline construction.

Second, natural vegetation helps fight erosion, which ensures the integrity of the pipeline. Plants and grass intercept rainfall, causing absorptive and evaporative losses that reduce surface water runoff and erosion. Roots reinforce the soil, increasing lateral soil sheer strength and cohesion during saturated conditions. Many slopes can persist beyond their angle of repose and remain stable as a result of the complex root networks within soil blocks.

How to Encourage Natural Vegetation Growth

Articulating concrete revetment mats are a cost-effective, long-term solution that encourage natural plants to return to the slope. These mats consist of flexible concrete elements connected by ultraviolet stabilized copolymer extruded fiber rope. Because of their nature, they become part of the landscape.

The concrete mat solution will provide a long-term, continuous system of hard-armor protection for the entire length of the pipeline from high bank to high bank. The mats will also articulate and self-adjust with the streambed to prevent the upstream migration of future head cut erosion.

These mats allow for natural vegetation, restoring the look of a natural riparian corridor. The vegetation allows them to blend with the natural surroundings, creating wildlife habitats and increasing biodiversity within the stream.

To learn more about the Submar articulating concrete revetment mat, visit our website.