Erosion Along Lakefront

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  #1  
Old 03-06-18, 08:51 AM
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Question Erosion Along Lakefront

Hi,

My in-laws have a bit of a problem with erosion along a lake in their backyard. Image attached for reference.

They have obtained a number of estimates to repair this issue, all ranging between $8k to $20k to repair. Finances are a concern, thus I am helping them research any sort of DIY / less expensive solutions to repair (or if DIY'ing this is even possible?).

As you can see in the images, the bank is eroding, with additional areas starting to break away. With each rainfall it is getting worse. Not sure if pouring a lot of dirt and placing rocks would be adequate to help with this issue, or if having professionals repair really is the only option.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-06-18, 09:10 AM
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You'll likely need to get gov't approval for any fix since it involves a waterway. Across the mountain there is a homeowner along the river that is fighting the gov't - they don't want to issue a permit to fix it yet the erosion is threatening to take his drain field and they've already said they'd condemn his property if that happens.
 
  #3  
Old 03-06-18, 09:17 AM
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that is a fair point--i did read something about a permit possibly being required. I assume this is part of what is factored in w/ the contractor doing the repair.
 
  #4  
Old 03-06-18, 09:53 AM
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Is this a private lake or public? If it's public you may get help. It doesn't look like a DIY project, but maybe it just looks bigger.

On something like a small private lake with wind/wave erosion, planting plugs of Reeds Canary grass takes care of it. That is usually a low bank shoreline in the midwest. Reeds Canary is cheap to start and maintains itself. It depends where the lake is.
 
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Old 03-06-18, 10:06 AM
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The number one bit of advice is to thoroughly research the permitting and regulations BEFORE doing anything. In the past 10+ years regulations have gotten very strict across the country as to what you can and can not do along lakes, rivers and seashore. If you build it and it's wrong they will make you take it out in addition to whatever fines and legal fees there may be.

You said "lake". A lot will depend on specifically what lake they are on. That will have a huge impact on regulations and agencies involved. I used to live on a lake and all the shoreline was owned and managed by the power company and anything done below a certain elevation (about 10' above the mean waterline) needed their approval. It was bureaucratic annoyance but it was manageable and relatively affordable. The house at the coast is on the Intracoastal Waterway and doing anything on the shoreline involves Coastal Area Management Approval (CAMA) and it's a whole other level of regulatory hoops to jump through.

Whatever the regulators say you are looking at a massive project.

At the cheap end is dumping tons and tons of rock at the shoreline. Even to do a small area can easily require 50 tons or more. While it's not rocket science there is the physics that tons of material would need to get into the water and on the shoreline. In my area 20+ tons of rip rap rock will cost about $350 but it can only be delivered where the dump truck can drive so there is the added work/expense of moving it from the road to the waterline.

More expensive and prettier is constructing a sea wall. It has all the difficulties of a retaining wall but it's made much tougher by being in the water and usually dealing with soft, water logged soils. Sheet piling is relatively inexpensive but requires specialized equipment to install so it's price will vary considerably based on location and access to the sight but easily starts in the thousands of dollars. Built up wood walls can be less expensive because every yahoo thinks they can build one and it doesn't require much in the way of equipment but I have seen far too many fail because they were not properly designed or constructed.
 
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Old 03-06-18, 01:05 PM
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Wink

To answer some of the questions:

The house is in a subdivision. The lake is shared, each home owning a section of the shoreline as part of their yard.

In regards to the comment that it doesn't look like a small project based on the image--i'd say the image doesn't do it justice honestly. The shoreline is in very rough shape, no question a lot of work/material is needed to repair. If i had to guess, i'd say rough 30 feet of shoreline is in this state, needing repair.

I think the most viable option here is the cheaper option of dumping rip rap rock. Unfortunately no one in the family owns a truck / equipment capable of handling this. Thus, even if local regulation(s) do not restrict DIY repair, i'm not certain the material movement is feasible. I'm looking to upgrade to a truck myself, but i don't want to haul tons of dirt and rock right after purchasing...
 
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Old 03-06-18, 01:59 PM
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Eh, you can't have a stable shoreline with turf grass. The roots only go a few inches deep.
I've volunteered on several stream-bank restorations with a local Riverkeeper organization.
You need some plants that normally grow along shorlines or stream banks, like dogwood or sycamore, because they have deep roots which stablize the bank.

Your best bet for quick permitting is to contact the local watershed group and ask about options for
vegetiation barriers.

https://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/regio...Nature_Web.pdf
 
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Old 03-06-18, 02:26 PM
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Reeds Canary is anything but turf grass. It's used in fast flowing waterways trhoughout Iowa. You don't mow it for your lawn. Still if you need a tree, you'll have to plant a tree.
 
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Old 03-06-18, 02:54 PM
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We live on a river in Alaska and for erosion control we used tall, skinny spruce trees. Laid along the bank and then cabled back to secure them. The sediment fills in around the branches and works pretty good. Another solution we looked at are "coco logs". These are log shaped things filled with a fiber material. They got a bit expensive for us but may be an option for you to consider. Here's a link to show you what coco logs look like...

Western Excelsior EXCEL Coco Sediment Control Logs & Wattles
 
  #10  
Old 03-10-18, 05:43 PM
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thanks for the info everyone. It looks like my inlaws are going with the rip rap / rock option. considerably cheaper than the other options. None of us have done this before, so hopefully it works out. I think they plan on doing this towards the end of the month.
 
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