Organic Evapotranspiration Cover - Sandoval County, New Mexico
Written By: Charles Fiedler, PE, LEED AP
Date: January 6, 2021
Charles Fiedler, PE, LEED AP, is a consulting expert in the field of environmental engineering with over forty years of solid waste management, waste minimization, recycling, and environmental engineering experience. These experiences have been acquired during his employment with public and private sector entities across the southwestern United States.
Sandoval County, New Mexico, was seeking innovative solutions and partnerships for the diversion of organic materials in their effort to develop a market for the use of organic products for erosion control and landscape projects. This project was conceived as a creative solution to beneficially utilize hard-to-manage materials by evaluating and documenting the function of an alternative organic cover system that relies on organic armoring and evapotranspiration (an organic ET erosion control and cover system) to stabilize slopes and other soil surfaces in an arid environment. The project goal was to provide an ongoing demand for organic materials utilized in an ET erosion control and cover system designed with equivalent or greater performance than the conventional erosion control and cover systems currently required and employed in New Mexico. The tasks undertaken to accomplish the goal required the County, with support from their consultant, Parkhill, to design an organic ET erosion control and cover system that relies on the use of compost and/or wood chips for armoring and erosion control, in conjunction with an infiltration/evaporation layer that precludes liquids from passing through the cover and into the subgrade. This effort was intended to verify the organic ET erosion control and cover system design and performance through site-specific, field-scale testing