Fort Carson Channel Repair - Case Study


Courtesy of Nilex

US Army Base chooses a more durable and easier to install solution than rip-rap for their channel repair project.

Fort Carson, a 137,000-acre United States Army installation near Colorado Springs was established in 1942 following the events of Pearl Harbor. In 2016 the US Department of Defense noticed a huge gully forming along the roadway threatening its existence, requiring immediate action.


Due to extremely erosive, silty-sand soils and steep slopes, the channel had washed out to nearly five times its normal size. Prior to lining the channel, fill soil was required to rebuild the channel and obtain proper compaction throughout the 10-foot cross-section. Proper onsite staging was required to prepare for and avoid any major rain storms that could wash out the channel again before the repair work was complete.


Several months prior to initiation of this project, Nilex conducted a half-day seminar at the military base. This served to educate engineers, environmental managers and maintenance staff on proper erosion control and revegetation techniques. SmartDitch was identified as a viable solution for the channel project because it allowed for a sealed channel lining that would provide better erosion control, more durability, and easier installation compared to rip-rap or a concrete channel.


Nilex provided engineering and on-site contractor support, instructing crews on the proper installation of SmartDitch. With Nilex’s in-house experts we were able to recommend and employ special measures, such as edge protection, to prevent future erosion issues.

Since the channel was so severely eroded and enlarged, an excavator and loader were used to refill and shape the channel, a critical step for ensuring the success of a new channel lining. The 2,000 foot long project took a crew of three to four people approximately four weeks to complete.


SmartDitch was chosen over other channel linings due to its performance, durability, ease of installation and its leak-free lining. Made from proven UV resistant HDPE, SmartDitch has a unique corrugated design which helps regulate the flow of water and is able to withstand direct sunlight for decades without compromising its performance. The durability of the HDPE allows it to withstand maintenance operations, as well as wildlife that may cross the ditch.

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