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Products Erosion Sediment Control
Erosion Sediment Control

"Big Switch" Biobased Erosion & Filtration System

Big Switch is a flexible mesh sock filled with switchgrass that traps and holds sediment and pollutants so cleaned water can flow through.

The Big Switch is the 2017 national Environmental Protection Product of the Year award winner for groundwater and soil.

2017 product of the year2018 product of the year

Even Better, Big Switch® has earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label.

USDA Biocertified

Plus, its third-party accredited verification for its biobased content is administered through the USDA BioPreferred Program, an initiative created by the 2002 Farm Bill (and most recently expanded by the 2014 Farm Bill). 

Some key advantages...

  • Is lightweight, making it’s user-friendly, easier for you to install and less expensive to ship.
  • No trenching or disturbing the soil surface required.
  • Has a huge contact surface area.
  • Greatly reduces your tannic acids, heavy metals and volatile organic compounds such as arsenic.
  • Doesn’t need to be removed because it dissolves easily and naturally.
  • The Big Switch doesn’t require any trenching or disturbing the soil surface

The Big Switch proudly displays the USDA label that highlights its 100% biobased content.

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You’ll use it for preventing soil erosion and providing filtration which is critical in protecting your property.

Exposed soil, whether from wind, weather, running water and even the after-effects of forest fire also can be protected from erosion.

Big Switch is light weight vs. mulch, saving you back strains, shipping cost and headaches.

Here are a few types of the erosion/filtration capabilities of Big Switch®:

  • Erosion/Sediment Control
  • Pollutant Removal
  • Stormwater Management
  • Habitat Pollinator Initiatives
  • Slip Repair
  • And That’s Just The Tip Of The Iceberg… 

The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium is perfect for construction sites or other disturbed areas where stormwater runoff occurs as sheet flow.

Common industry practice for filter devices is that drainage areas do not exceed 0.25 acre per 100 feet of device length and flow does not exceed one cubic foot per second (see Siting and Design Considerations).

The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium is ideal for use on steeper slopes with faster flows when they are spaced more closely, stacked beside and/or on top of each other, made in larger diameters, or used in combination with other stormwater Best Management Practices.

The Big Switch® works flawlessly in place of traditional sediment and erosion control tools such as a silt fence.

The Big Switch® Erosion-Filter Medium are widely placed along the perimeter of a site, or at intervals along a slope, to capture and treat stormwater that runs off as sheet flow.

Big Switch is a non-toxic, plant-based compost sediment filter that gives you the erosion control you need.

Big Switch, is more environmentally friendly than wood-based products that serve the same purpose. Why? Because different woods can carry arsenic in the bark which can be harmful to aquatic life.

The products are large “socks” made out of Polyethylene or biodegradable cotton filled with a 100 percent switchgrass mixture.

Once placed in the desired location, the socks can absorb up to 40 percent of its weight in moisture and dry out quickly. 

The Big Switch® is oval to round in cross-section, designed to provide a three-dimensional medium that retains sediment and other pollutants (e.g., suspended solids, tannic acid, nitrates, phosphate’s and motor oil) while allowing the cleaned water to flow through.

They are flexible and easily moved into position, making them vitally useful on steep or rocky slopes where installation of other erosion control tools is not practical.

Because The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium has greater surface area contact with soil than typical sediment control devices, it reduces the potential for runoff to create rills under the device and/or create channels carrying unfiltered sediment.

And, they can be laid parallel, side-by-side, perpendicular to the stormwater flow, reducing your flow velocity and soil erosion.

The Big Switch® Erosion-Filter Medium is great for use on the pavement as inlet protection for storm drains and to slow water flow in small ditches.

Available in 8, 12, 18, and 24 inches in diameter.

Big Switch® can be un-vegetated or vegetated. The vegetated product can remain in place to provide long-term filtration of stormwater as a post-construction best management practice (BMP). The vegetation grows into the slope, anchoring the filter even more.

Once The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium is put in place, it should be anchored to the slope.

The preferred anchoring method is to drive stakes through the center of the tube at regular intervals; alternatively, stakes can be placed on the downstream side of The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium.

Stakes should be wooden and of appropriate length to provide 12” embedding in the ground + the sock diameter + 2” sticking above the sock and up to a 10’ spacing.

Stakes can be easily pulled up to move The Big Switch® to other areas for additional erosion control and filtration.

The ends of the Filter should be directed up-slope to prevent stormwater from running around the end of The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium.

The Big Switch® Erosion-Filtration Medium is sometimes cut open when the project is completed, and the filter material is spread around the site as a soil amendment. Other times it's moved to another site.

Not sure what type of filtration you need or have questions about your equipment?

Let our team of experienced applications engineers review your process to gauge your challenges and make recommendations that will be best for your application, facility and business goals.

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