FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Combating Streambank Erosion in Fountain Creek   [open pdf - 35KB]

"Embankment erosion of Fountain Creek was threatening the roadway in Chinook, an area in the city of Pueblo. 'When this creek floods, basically this whole area is inundated with water,' said Earl Wilkinson, director of Public Works. 'Approximately 928 square miles of the drainage district drains down to Pueblo,' according to Daryl Wood, stormwater coordinator for Pueblo County. The erosion of stream banks is a natural process that occurs in lakes, streams, and rivers, and although it can be rapid, more often it involves the gradual removal of sediments from the shoreline. Erosion is caused by a number of factors, including storms, wave action, rain, ice, winds, runoff, and the lack of trees and other vegetation. In the spring of 1999, rain fell most of the day over Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Pueblo, and the surrounding areas. The rain intensified that evening and continued to come down heavily until the afternoon of April 30. Many areas received as many as eight inches in 40 hours, with some receiving more than 13 inches in 48 hours. The heavy rain in the Arkansas River basin led to widespread river flooding along Fountain Creek in El Paso and Pueblo Counties. 'We saw significant erosion in Fountain Creek after the 1999 flood, especially in the area of Creek Side at Velmount,' said Wood. 'We had to act fast and also consider cost. We determined that using hardpoints was the way to go.' Hardpoints are an erosion-control technique consisting of stone fills spaced along an eroding bank line."

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