Shoreline Contractors, Inc

Services for Private lakefront Home owners 

Erosion Control

Read below to see how we complete a well designed, useful, and aesthetic control system.

How we build effective erosion control systems


We have studied the effectiveness, cost, structural integrity, failure rates, advantages, and disadvantages of hundreds of different erosion control systems. We have learned that the most effective method of erosion control is to place large (usually 3 to 5 ton) rock (referred to as “amour stone”) on the shoreline on a 1 vertical to 2 vertical slope.


This design is used exclusively by both the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for this application.

What causes wall failure?


When waves strike a vertical wall such as steel sheet piling or concrete, the water is driven airborne, washing out the bluff behind the structure and covering the area with ice during freezing conditions. The water is also driven downward, scouring the toe of the structure, carrying away any beach. This action, called “downcutting”, deepens the water, resulting in undermining and failure of the wall.

Our erosion control system is effective because it results in a natural process by which wave energy is reduced rather than reflected.

Why our erosion control system works


In contrast, the revetment (rock on a slope) directs the waves up the slope where they lose momentum. The rough texture also reduces the runup height by 40 percent over a smooth slope, and the resulting turbulence dissipates the wave energy.


With a double layer of rock, the many voids between them absorb water like a sponge, releasing the water slowly back into the lake when the wave recedes.


What are the design components?


Design components for such an erosion control system include a double layer of amour stone on a 1 vertical to 2 vertical slope; sufficient under layer of smaller rock or concrete rubble; filter fabric where the bluff consists of erodable material; backfilling and grading where the bluff is steeper than 1:2.


The toe of the amour stone must extend down to a non-erodable layer such as clay or bedrock. For most installations, the typical top elevation of the large rock is about 10 feet above ordinary high water. Since some spray can exceed this height, a splash berm of smaller rock (18” to 24”) is usually applied for an additional five feet of elevation. Vegetation of the earthern slope above this completes a well designed, useful, and aesthetic control system.


See the picture below to learn more about the components of erosion control:


Off shore breakwater