Specialists in Bluff Erosion & Failures

(262) 236-6778

The Bluff Drain Process

Every lakefront property presents a unique set of circumstances, and therefore before designing solutions a slope stability and soil analysis should first be performed by an expert in bluff stability. These experts use their knowledge of the soils and slope dynamics to determine the best solution for your property. If subsurface water is identified as a problem, Bluff Drains are the solution.

Directional drilling equipment is used to drill, generally at intervals of every 30’, into the ground at the optimal angle to intersect the necessary soil layers, exiting at the bottom of the bluff. The drill head and pipe is then removed, leaving a flat, corrigated geotextile wick in place. The drill spoils in your yard are then vacuumed up.

The permitting process for the drains is minimal, the impact on your yard is negligible and the work can generally be completed in a few weeks.

Bluff drains can also be used in combination with a stone revetment to prevent beach erosion.

Benefits for Property Owners

Bluff drains offer significant benefits to you as a property owner:

Effective. These drains have a successful track record of reducing landslides and increasing bluff stability.

Cost-effective. Other methods may require re-grading the slope, time delays, permits, or trenching into the bluff creating unnecessary costs.

Addresses the cause of the problem. Without bluff drains, subsurface water continues to build up, causing bluff erosion which other solutions do not address.

Maintains the integrity and value of your land. Protects your investment through erosion management.

Low environmental impact. Trees, shrubs, brush and plantings remain intact during the process.

Maintains soil structure. The landscape drainage process does not cause further compaction of the soil.

Highly adaptable. Bluff drains can be inserted under existing buildings and utilities if needed, without affecting them.

Shorter installation time. Process typically takes days, not months as with other methods.

No maintenance. Bluff drains are encased in filter cloth which prevents clogging and allows draining by gravity, requiring no maintenance from the property owner

Accepted by local government entities as a viable solution for erosion control, with minimal permitting required in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

Additional Applications. Bluff drains can also be used to stabilize embankments such as highway cuts. They apply not only to the Great Lakes region, but to bluffs, cliffs and embankments throughout the U.S. and Canada where landslides may occur and where soil erosion control is needed.