Solutions Superior Results...  
 
 
Site Assessment Synthesizing the data...  
The purpose of our assessment is to ensure that all essential information is considered, ensuring the process of identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the data before major decisions are taken and commitments made...
 



 

The purpose of our assessment is to ensure that all essential information is considered, ensuring the process of identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the data before major decisions are taken and commitments made.

We work with all relevant reports e.g.*Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA's), if available, and use all appropriate information to submit a practical, sustainable and cost-effective rehabilitation method statement for specific projects.

*Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment; consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects.

The Need for Site-Specific Information

Our objective is to determine the best solutions for each site based on our assessment of the:

  • Soil quality,
  • Water quality,
  • Topography,
  • Vegetation diversity,
  • Seeding method and
  • Soil erosion.

Soil Quality

A good soil assessment is a critical component for any successful soil analysis in order to ensure appropriate soil amelioration. The soil condition will ultimately determine sustainability of vegetation and which vegetation will merely survive on site.

The best approach is to understand what you already have in place and focus on improving it. Selecting endemic/indigenous species for your site, combined with a focus on improving your soil, will result in low maintenance and successful vegetation cover.

Soil Structure

Generally, soil structure is comprised of topsoil, subsoil, and parent rock. You should be able to see a colour difference between your topsoil and subsoil. The top soil should be dark due to the nutrients and organic matter which it contains. Subsoil should be much lighter because it does not carry the nutrients and organic matter found in the topsoil.

Soil pH

Soil pH is a characteristic most people disregard, despite its significance. pH is the measure of acidity and alkalinity and is an important characteristic of your soil. pH can range from 0 to 14; 7 being neutral. Lower numbers indicate an acidic soil and higher numbers indicate an alkaline soil. Most plants desire a neutral or slightly acidic soil from a range of 5.5 to 7.5. Adjusting soil pH can be a high-maintenance activity, so instead of battling to change the soil pH, rather just select suitable vegetation.

Water quality

Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water. It is of the utmost importance to use the highest quality water for soil erosion controls such as hydroseeding. Polluted or toxic water, often found on and around mining sites, should never be used for seeding methods or irrigation purposes. The water quality may be approved if suitable water quality offsets are provided.

Topography

(drainage and landform erosion control methods and products)

Erosion rates are controlled primarily by topographic relief or slope, precipitation, climate, vegetation and rock type. Therefore, the terrain of every site assessed is very important in determining the optimum erosion control methods to be used.

Slope factors

The slope or gradient of the land has a direct impact on soil erosion and deposition. The use of erosion control blankets, erosion control cylinders and erosion control cylinder-blankets are especially appropriate for critical slopes adjacent to sensitive areas, such as streams and wetlands, and disturbed soil areas, where planting is likely to be slow in providing adequate protective cover.

Hydroseeding is a sophisticated planting process, using water-based slurry to establish vegetation or turf grass on large and/or inaccessible areas, such as steep slopes, where erosion control, dust pollution, land reclamation, environmental rehabilitation and aesthetics are priorities.

Climatic factors

Climatic factors include the amount and intensity of precipitation, the average temperature, seasonality, wind speed and storm frequency. Erosion control blankets, erosion control cylinders, erosion control cylinder-blankets, vetiver grass, wind breaks, silt fences and dust & erosion control agents are all effective erosion control techniques that prevent soil loss caused by climatic factors.

Vegetation and rock type factors

Factors include ground cover, vegetation or lack thereof, the type of organisms inhabiting the area, the land use, the sediment and the porosity and permeability of the rock type.

Exotic invasive species control is important to reduce negative impacts on the ecosystem. The active planting of indigenous vegetation is crucial to maintain and preserve the natural biodiversity of any area.

Vegetation Type

Vegetation diversity is a major component of ecosystems. Vegetation is the source of primary production, plays a direct role in water and nutrient cycling, and interacts strongly with other biotic components (insects, game, etc.) being a determinant habitat for many species. Vegetation has also been identified as a specific target for the calculation of critical loads/levels. The composition and structure of vegetation can serve as bio-indicators for environmental changes to ecosystems. Changes in vegetation and in underlying environmental factors can serve as indicators of the status of other organisms based on our current knowledge of the ecological niches of numerous plant species.


  Click here to view a map of the South-African bioregions.

The objectives of the vegetation assessment:

  • Characterize the current state of the ecosystems on the basis of the composition of the vegetation;
  • To preserve, maintain and sustain the biodiversity of the indigenous vegetation on the identified sections.

Seeding Method

The seeding method to be used will be determined by the area, associated cost, site access and required seed types.

Hydroseeding

Hydroseeding is a sophisticated planting process, using water-based slurry to establish vegetation or turf grass on large and/or inaccessible areas where erosion control, dust pollution, land reclamation, environmental rehabilitation and aesthetics are priorities. The seeding process involves the use of highly specialised equipment, which includes four-wheel drive vehicles that can access almost any type of terrain.

Manual Seeding/Hand seeding

Tef seeders or gandi dropseeders are typically used to manually seed small and/or inaccessible areas. Sites must first be prepared, levelled and lightly scarified before the spreading of seed can commence. Drop seeders and hand seeders, however, inhibit the application of seed varieties which come in clumps or those that can easily blow away. There are also limitations with regard to the even distribution of seed.

Mechanical Seeding

Mechanical drop seeders,brilliant seeders or agricultural planters are pulled by a tractor to mechanically seed areas that are slightly larger than areas requiring manual or hand seeding. Although this method is faster, it poses the same limitations as manual and hand seeding in regard to the variety of seed that can be applied.

Understanding Soil Erosion

Soil degradation by accelerated water and wind-induced erosion is a threatening predicament and will continue to worsen during the 21st century, especially in developing countries of tropics and subtropics. Erosion is a natural geomorphic process occurring continually over the earth's surface. However, the acceleration of this process through anthropogenic perturbations (degradation of the environment caused by humans) can have severe impacts on soil and environmental quality.

Different energy source agents determine different types of erosion. There are four principal sources of energy: physical, such as wind and water; gravity; chemical reactions and anthropogenic, such as tillage.

Soil erosion is a three stage process: detachment, transport and deposition of soil. It begins with detachment, which is caused by the breakdown of aggregates from raindrop impact, sheering or drag force of water and wind. Detached particles are transported by flowing water (over-land flow and inter-flow) and wind, and deposited when the velocity of water or wind decreases by the effect of slope or ground cover.

Three processes accelerate the natural rate of soil erosion: dispersion, compaction and crusting. These processes decrease structural stability, reduce soil strength, exacerbate erodibility and accentuate susceptibility to transport by over-land flow, interflow, wind or gravity. These processes are accentuated by soil disturbance (tillage, vehicular traffic), lack of ground cover (bare fallow, residue removal or burning) and harsh climate (high rainfall intensity and wind velocity).

Factors of Soil Erosion

The soil erosion process is modified by environmental factors involving soil, climate, terrain and ground cover and interactions between them.

  • Soil erodibility is caused by the susceptibility of soil to the agent of erosion and is determined by inherent soil properties such as; texture, structure, soil organic matter, content, clay minerals, exchangeable cations (atoms that have lost an electron to become positively charged) and water retention and transmission properties.
  • Climatic erosivity includes drop size distribution and intensity of rain, amount and frequency of rainfall, run-off amount and velocity, and wind velocity.
  • Important terrain characteristics for studying soil erosion are slope-gradient, length, aspect and shape.
  • Ground cover exerts a strong moderating impact on dissipating the energy supplied by agents of soil erosion.

The Rate of soil erosion is influenced by the Factors and Causes of Soil Erosion


  Click here to view table
 
 
Erosion, Sediment & Dust Control Measures Protect our priceless soil....  
Erosion, Sediment & Dust Control Measures is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion on mines, developments and construction sites. The most common methods used are structural, (installation of erosion control products) and vegetation....
 





 

Erosion, Sediment & Dust Control Measures is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion on mines, developments and construction sites. The most common methods used are structural, (installation of erosion control products) and vegetation, (active planting and restoring of indigenous vegetation).

Erosion control blankets, erosion control cylinders, erosion control cylinder-blankets, vetiver grass, wind breaks, silt fences and dust, sediment and erosion control agents are all effective erosion control techniques that prevent soil loss. Our selections of erosion control measures for all situations are based upon good judgment and past experience under similar site conditions. The structural method involves erecting barriers to dissipate high wind speed and water flow and prevent any soil loss.

The following table provides a general guideline for the selection of the most appropriate erosion control measures. In most cases a combination with vegetation establishment has been suggested for optimum results. The table is generalized and does not represent every condition that may be encountered in the field. All conditions should be considered before selecting a method of control. Other Methods included in the table are: logging, full or strip sodding and straw and grass bales.


  Click here to view table

Soil Conservation

Keeping the soil at its original location is the preferred objective as it causes the least amount of harm to the environment. Erosion control products protect the surrounding land and water, but also prevent costly re-grading and re-dressing of slopes and canals. However, keeping the soil at its original location is not always possible due to challenging topography and other site variables. If the soil can't be kept at its original location, it should be kept close. This option will require some re-grading and re-dressing of slopes and canals. Finally, if site conditions are such that neither of the first two objectives can be met, at least try to keep the soil from leaving the site. Soil transported off-site can cause far-reaching damage to the downstream environment.

Hydroseeding

The most common erosion control methods are also used to promote vegetation. Ideally, vegetation can form the best erosion control, but this is often challenging to establish on problematic areas. Hydroseeding can be an effective method to establish vegetation quickly, efficiently and economically. A typical slurry is made of mulch, seed, fertilizer, ameliorants and water. This mix is then pumped and sprayed onto the erosion control product where the product provides ideal germination.

Erosion Control Methods

Erosion control products/methods are especially site-specific and vary from: log stabilising utilised from on-site invader plant material, strip sodding removed locally (veld sod) to commercial sodding, Vetiver grass, erosion control cylinders and erosion control blankets, erosion control cylinder-blankets and dust, sediment and erosion control agents. The control of exotic invasive species on projects can also be used positively as an erosion control medium.

Erosion controls are used in natural areas, agricultural settings or urban environments. In urban areas, erosion controls are often part of stormwater run-off management programs required by local governments. The controls often involve the creation of a physical barrier, such as vegetation or rock, to absorb some of the energy of the wind or water that is causing the erosion. On construction sites they are often implemented in conjunction with sediment controls such as sediment basins and silt fences or wind breaks.

Other examples of erosion control methods include: contour ploughing, cover crops, fibre rolls, gabions, perennial crops, terracing and fence-reforestation.
 
 
Hydroseeding It's all about the 'seed' in Hydroseeding...  
Hydroseeding is a sophisticated planting process, using water-based slurry to establish vegetation or turf grass on large and/or inaccessible areas where erosion control, dust pollution, land reclamation, environmental rehabilitation and aesthetics are priorities...
 



 

 

Hydroseeding is a sophisticated planting process, using water-based slurry to establish vegetation or turf grass on large and/or inaccessible areas where erosion control, dust pollution, land reclamation, environmental rehabilitation and aesthetics are priorities.

Hydroseeding is a superior alternative to the traditional process of broadcasting or hand-seeding. Hydroseeding is also referred to as hydraulic seeding, hydra-seeding or hydro-mulching. Hydro-mulching (as the word describes) is the process where only mulch is applied for a variety of requirements.

Uses

  • Urban seeding;
  • Turf grass seeding;
  • Golf course and sports field seeding;
  • Indigenous/endemic/native seeding;
  • Mine and tailings dam reclamation;
  • Road and rail network projects;
  • Horse paddocks and polo fields;
  • Agricultural pasture seeding.

Advantages

Because of the versatility of hydroseeding, it can be used for any veld reclamation, turf seeding, and erosion, sediment and dust control and/or to provide temporary cover for disturbed or denuded soil for later development. The advantages of hydroseeding include faster germination, increased plant survival, and the ability to cover large, often inaccessible areas rapidly. Hydroseeding is a more viable option on areas that are too immense or too steep to apply sods or manually broadcast seed. Hydroseeding generally germinates and develops cover faster than hand-seeding. Although hand-seeding is cheaper, it has limitations; hydroseeding has more advantages:

  • Certifying even distribution of specified slurry.
  • Site-specific formulation designed with geographic location, soil and environmental conditions in mind.
  • Creation of an ideal micro-climate 'crust' for the merging seedlings.
  • Limitation of stress caused by varying surface temperatures due to depth of seedbed.
  • Closure of scarification drills, embedding of seeds and light compaction of the soil surface.
  • Suitable and Reliable application method.
  • Time and cost-effective in application.
  • Restriction of initial weed growth.
  • Controls seed and material loss by wind and/or water erosion.
  • Promotes quick germination and impedes soil erosion.
  • Immediate absorption of applied fertilisers and organic residues into the soil profile.
  • Regulates surface water run-off.
  • Nominal maintenance obligations.

Hydroseeding Process

The seeding process involves the use of highly specialised equipment, which includes four-wheel drive vehicles that can access almost any type of terrain. The slurry is transported in a Hydroseeding Unit, either truck or trailer-mounted and sprayed over a prepared soil surface in an even layer. Powerful pumps and extension hoses generate a spray range in excess of 100 meters, practical for mixtures of varying viscosity. An area of up to four hectares (approximately eight rugby fields) can be completed per hydroseeding unit in a single day. The speed of this application results in an exceptionally high production rate, in particular where dust pollution and erosion control is of concern.

In general, hydroseeding is a dry land rehabilitation method, which does not require any form of additional irrigation. The use of scarifying drills, soil binder and mulch will retain the application slurry in situ, binding the surface layer. A micro-climate forms as the climate and soil moisture conditions for germination improves, and vegetation establishes.

The establishment period depends on the climate, soil moisture and soil conditions. Provided that the watering and/or rainfall is adequate, germination should take place within 3 to 21 days, with suitable grass cover within a 2 to 3 month period, preventing erosion and turning out to be aesthetically pleasing.

Components of Hydroseeding Slurry

The slurry (basic materials) for hydroseeding consists of water (carrier), seed, fertiliser, anti-erosion compounds (soil binders and/or tackifiers), organic supplements, ameliorates and mulch, which is sprayed onto the disturbed or denuded surfaces, once prepared.

Water is the carrier for the slurry and also provides initial moisture to the soil. When necessary, water is sprayed over the area prior to the hydroseeding application. The additional moisture lowers the soil temperature and provides an improved base for the mixture.

Seed mixtures vary from turf grass varieties to specific combinations of indigenous/endemic seed species according to the region and/or project specifications. Nowadays, in most cases, contractors (National and Provincial Government as well as Private Developers) request endemic species, as these varieties require less water, resulting in reduced maintenance costs.

Hydroseeding mulch supports moisture retention and reduces stress on the seed. The slurry frequently has supplementary ingredients including green dye, additional fertilisers and ameliorates, increased soil-binders (especially on steep and/or on highly erodible soil), as well as topsoil supplements (enhancing depleted soil on projects where topsoil is not readily available).

Certification of Acceptable Cover

TES (Pty) Ltd guarantees to attain and establish the sustainable vegetation cover specified within a 12 month 10% retention period (COLTO Section 5800: Landscaping and Planting Plants).We will, at our cost return to re-seed any bare areas that do not attain an acceptable grass/vegetation cover due to our workmanship. An acceptable cover means that not less than 75% of the re-vegetated area is to be covered with specified vegetation and that there will be no bare patches of more than 500 x 500 mm in maximum dimension.
 
 
Vegetation Rescue & Protection Our quest to protect...  
Vegetation Rescue & Protection (Search & Rescue) is part of our quest to maintain the natural biodiversity of areas that will be disturbed by mining, development or construction sites. Our process involves the identification of the endemic/indigenous vegetation and protected plant species.
 



 

Vegetation Rescue & Protection (Search & Rescue) is part of our quest to maintain the natural biodiversity of areas that will be disturbed by mining, development or construction sites. Our process involves the identification of the endemic/indigenous vegetation including protected plant species within the impacted area, focusing on vegetation that diversifies the environment. Thereafter, the plants are removed and transplanted to non-impacted areas near the project or stored until such time that they can be replanted.

The main purpose of the search & rescue process is to rehabilitate disturbed areas back to their unique and natural biodiversity. We do this by replanting the same vegetation that was originally retrieved back into its initial habitat as opposed to using commercially bought vegetation and/or mono-vegetation which provides little or no diversity to the environment. By safeguarding endangered vegetation and sensitive ecosystems, we are maintaining biodiversity through incorporating the rescued vegetation within the landscape development once construction is complete.

Although some plants are of the same species they flourish differently in different areas and environments. Therefore it is unwise to import certain species from different habitats to which they have not adapted. As an example, Themeda Triandra grows differently in different altitudes. Plants from higher altitudes tend to be shorter and dark purple, whereas at lower altitudes, plants are often lighter in colour and only flushed with purple.

The survival rate of commercial vegetation planted in a foreign habitat is uncertain, whereas plants that are replanted into their natural habitat to which they have already adapted are sure to flourish and maintain the diversity of the ecosystem.

Advantages

  • Maintains biodiversity,
  • Safeguards endangered species,
  • Protects sensitive ecosystems,
  • Rehabilitates areas scarred by construction.
 
 
Exotic Invasive Species Control Keep it local; don't let the flowers fool you...  
Controlling invasive plant populations is important to reduce negative impacts on the ecosystem. Early detection and action is vital in any management plan. Weed management decisions vary according to plant life cycles, infestation size, environmental parameters and management...
 





 

 


Controlling invasive plant populations is important to reduce negative impacts on the ecosystem. Early detection and action is vital in any management plan. Weed management decisions vary according to plant life cycles, infestation size, environmental parameters and management objectives. Successful weed management requires proper plant identification, selection of effective management methods and monitoring the effects over time.

Preventative Control

Prevention is the most essential aspect of weed management. Once a noxious weed infestation establishes, any increase in size and density creates increasingly more expensive management efforts. Awareness of weed sources and plant identification is a must. Disturbed ground such as; new roads, pipelines and other sites where competitive vegetation has been removed are most vulnerable to weed invasion. With no restoration, weeds are likely to appear. Early detection and rapid response of any invasive species saves time and money. Aggressive management action of smaller, newly established infestations are easier to control.

The speedy establishment of competitive/indigenous and desired vegetation prevents or slows down invasion by weedy species and is a key component of successful weed management.Weeds are typically opportunistic and readily invade disturbed sites. Impacts from construction sites and other disturbances that damage or remove desirable and competitive vegetation create sites for noxious weed invasion. Controlling weeds on such sites can be futile without vegetative restoration, as weeds will readily re-invade the disturbed area. Success often depends on proper species selection suitable for a particular soil type, moisture regime and growing season. Other factors such as soil compaction, seeding depth, time of year, and weed control during establishment can be critical to success.

Mechanical Control

Mechanical control consists of methods that kill or suppress weeds through physical disruption. Such methods include pulling, digging, disking, ploughing, mowing, uprooting, felling and ring-barking or bark stripping. Success of various mechanical control methods is dependent on the life cycle of the target weed species.

Mowing is a suppression measure that can prevent or decrease seed head production. Mowed weeds will re-grow and set seed from a reduced height so a combined control method is necessary to be effective. Mowing causes perennial plants to weaken when forced to send up carbohydrates from underground root reserves to nourish re-growth. Therefore, mowing a perennial weed a couple of times during the summer can significantly weaken the plants, and when combined with an autumn herbicide application, it will provide optimum control.

Chemical Control

Herbicide application can provide an effective and time-efficient method of managing weeds. Numerous herbicides are available that provide effective weed control and are selective in that grasses are not injured. Along with herbicide use, user responsibility and compliance with all product label requirements for herbicide handling, use, and clean-up is essential.

  Click here to view a list of declared weeds and invader plants compiled by the National Department of Agriculture
 
 
Environmental Restoration Holistic approach...  
Environmental Restoration (Land reclamation) is a holistic approach that begins with the end in mind. It involves a combination of services and products to attain the results needed. Our restoration services include: veld-specific (bioregions) reclamation, coastal dune rehabilitation...
 





 

Environmental Restoration (Land reclamation) is a holistic approach that begins with the end in mind. It involves a combination of solutions and products to attain the results needed. Our restoration services include: veld-specific (bioregions) reclamation, coastal dune rehabilitation, fynbos rehabilitation, succulent and Nama-Karoo veld rehabilitation and wetland rehabilitation, among others.


  Click here to view a map of the South-African bioregions.

The Process

According to project requirements and/or specifications all of the steps below or a combination thereof can be used to rehabilitate the site.

Site Assessment

Our process begins with nature and ends with nature where proper planning is imperative for the success of any project. The first step in our comprehensive procedure is a thorough site assessment, which involves identifying, evaluating and synthesizing all the necessary data in order to produce an effective and solid rehabilitation proposal.

Our objective is to determine the best solutions for each site based on our assessment of the:

  • Soil quality,
  • Water quality,
  • Topography,
  • Vegetation diversity,
  • Seeding method and
  • Soil erosion.

Alien Eradication

Once the site assessment is complete, the next step involves removing all exotic invasive vegetation from the site. Controlling invasive plant populations is important to reduce negative impacts on the ecosystem. Early detection and action is vital in any management plan. Weed management decisions vary according to plant life cycles, infestation size, environmental parameters and management objectives. Successful weed management requires proper plant identification, selection of effective management methods and monitoring the effects over time.

Vegetation Rescue and Protection (Search and Rescue)

The search and rescue process involves the identification of the endemic/indigenous vegetation including protected plant species within the impacted area, focusing on vegetation that diversifies the environment. Thereafter, the plants are removed and transplanted to non-impacted areas near the project or stored until such time that they can be replanted.

Erosion Control

Erosion, Sediment & Dust Control Measures is the practice of preventing or controlling wind or water erosion on mines, developments and construction sites. The most common methods used are structural, (installation of erosion control products) and vegetation, (active planting and restoring of indigenous vegetation). Erosion control blankets, erosion control cylinders, erosion control cylinder-blankets, vetiver grass, wind breaks, silt fences and dust, sediment & erosion control agents are all effective erosion control techniques that prevent soil loss.

Vegetation Establishment

One of the most rewarding stages in our process is to replant the rescued and/or commercial indigenous vegetation and perform hydroseeding. Hydroseeding is done using specified slurry and a combination of our own harvested seed and commercial seed to establish vegetation or turf grass on large and/or inaccessible areas where erosion control, dust pollution, land reclamation, environmental rehabilitation and aesthetics are priorities.

Maintenance

The maintenance phase is performed either during construction or during the 12 month 10 % retention period. This phase involves watering, reseeding if necessary, erosion control repairs and eradicating the reinvasion of alien vegetation.

Objectives:

  • Preserve, maintain and sustain the diversity of the indigenous vegetation,
  • Reinstate the disturbed area to an acceptable vegetation cover,
  • Evaluate and maintain the rehabilitation process,
  • Eradicate and control invasive species,
  • Control erosion (rill/gully),
  • Control sediment and storm-water run-off.