General Principles of Erosion Protection
The sponsor's capability and commitment to perform routine maintenance will
determine the probability of minor failures becoming catastrophic. The sponsor's ability to
perform emergency reinforcement under difficult conditions will affect the safety factor for
work which protects important facilities such as levees. The availability of sources of
assistance during emergency conditions is also a factor. Project documentation should
emphasize the importance of monitoring and maintenance, if appropriate.
The consequences of failure will probably be the most important single element in
determining the safety factor. This hinges on an assessment of the likelihood of loss of life,
significant property damage, or severe stream channel instability if the work fails. When faced
with design decisions that cannot be resolved analytically, the consequences of failure must
be the overriding consideration.