What happens when a storm water channel is unmaintained?
Water has to move. There are only two ways it can do that - through a pipe or over the natural ground. If it moves over natural ground, it’s likely going to create marshy areas where aquatic and riparian plants will grow. These plants are good - they help slow the water as it moves downstream and this prevents the water from picking up the soil on its way downstream. These aquatic/marsh plants also help filter the water as it moves - the roots uptake the water, removing harmful chemicals and nutrients and the plants also act as a mechanical filter by trapping sediment before it moves downstream.
Strategizing a solution for the problem.
So, what do you do with the plants if they are too abundant or dense? Do you remove them? Do you kill them with herbicides? Do you replace them with concrete? We said there are many benefits to the plants, so why would we choose any of these options? If you remove them, you’ll increase soil erosion - nothing is protecting and armoring the soils. If the plants are killed, you’re now left with a barren channel that is not filtering water and aesthetically, it looks like a wasteland.
What is the best option?
The BEST option is to maintain them by mowing them routinely. This will maintain the plant’s root system and allow for shorter foliage growth, providing all
the benefits the plants provide while also helping maintain conveyance and flow as it was designed to prevent flooding. Take this urban neighborhood and storm water system in the north Dallas area. Storm water or surface water conveyance is a big deal to them. Without it, homes would flood and downstream landowners would be negatively impacted. They rely upon this engineered system working properly. The best management practice is mowing this channel routinely.
What solution did we implement to solve the problem?
The best solution is our amphibious mower - the MarshMaster! Leaving low impact trails and mulching vegetation up into fine pieces while moving quickly and easily through the marsh thanks to its wide tracks and buoyant pontoons, makes it the perfect fit for maintaining your marsh areas using the best management techniques.