According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a revetment is defined as: “A facing of erosion resistant material such as stone or concrete that is designed to protect a scarp, embankment, or shoreline feature against erosion.” The key feature of a revetment structure is that it prevents erosion of landmass. This feature is critical for waterfront property owners and managers. One major problem associated with revetments, seawalls, and bulkheads is that these structures are often reliant on a filter layer that engineers specify in the design plans prior to construction. Often this filter layer (a.k.a. filter fabric or membrane) fails prematurely, and a massive loss of soil results in structural instability of the structure.
Pictured in this article is a revetment made of rip rap (small boulders) that protects the shoreline alongside property managed by a homeowners association in Pompano Beach, Florida. A recent assessment performed by Seawall Repair Network member contractor Stable Soils (located in Ocala, Florida) determined that the structure’s filter fabric had failed, causing soil migration from the landward side into the water, and gradual sinking of the structure. The technicians at Stable Soils are experts with Seawall Repair Network’s proprietary repair material (SW-RP1) and stabilization procedures. They were able to permanently shut down the soil migration, fill all related voids, stabilize the rip rap, and save this structure from a very costly failure.