Compost Socks and Storm Water

Compost Socks and Storm Water

Why you need Compost Socks

A compost sock is a mesh tube filled with compost or mulch and it is used in Best Management Practices (BMPs) for managing storm water and erosion control. The tubes are available in a variety of diameters and lengths for use in various applications. The tube mesh also comes in different sizes to optimize water filtration and/or plant growth.

Compost is very effective at absorbing and filtering storm water. Compost also adds biology to support the rapid development and growth of vegetation. Plant roots anchor the soil to minimize the release of sediment on slopes and this is what prevents erosion. If you add seed to the sock, you now have living green infrastructure or a berm that you can place where ever you need it. You can use them on slopes or for creating a bioretention basin or rain garden for low-lying, problem areas in the landscape. They will filter out pollutants and prevent flooding while also creating an attractive, easy to care for habitat for birds and butterflies.

Compost Socks protecting a storm drain

You will often see compost socks along highways and parking lots as they are very effective at managing storm water and erosion. They are easy to install and equally effective in commercial and residential applications. Join me on a Compost Sock Application Project Tour to learn more about using compost socks. Click on the link to watch the video and take the tour, “Mulch BMP Tour UCSD 2021“, from the County of San Diego’s Department of Public Works. You can get more information about watershed protection and landscaping strategies from SD Department of Public Works below.

Compost Socks for inlet protection
Close up of installed Compost Socks

CalRecycle also has some great resources on using compost socks and creating rain gardens that you may find helpful. Check it out via the links below.

Stacked Compost Socks

The links below from Filtrexx cover a wide array of applications and the specifications for using the socks to solve environmental storm water issues.

We produce and sell Compost Socks!

We are now producing 8” and 12” diameter compost socks using long-lasting black polypropylene mesh! They are available in 3’, 10’ and 20’ lengths filled with either our Planter’s Blend Compost (vegetative support and green infrastructure media) or our Grower’s Mulch (storm water pollutant filtration media) depending on the application. Larger diameter socks will handle larger volumes of water. You can also stack the smaller size sock in pyramid fashion to accomplish the same thing as using a larger diameter single 12” sock. The shorter the length, the easier the socks are to install and move around.

Filter Media – Grower’s Mulch – for filtering out storm water pollutants
Growing Media – Planter’s Blend Compost – for supporting seed germination and plant vegetative growth

The 10’ and 20’ sections are very heavy and are typically used only by professional erosion control contractors that have work crews and equipment to move them into place. For home owners, I recommend using the 3’ sections. We will deliver all Compost Sock orders to your address or jobsite on pallets.

Types of Compost Socks

Filter socks are used to capture and remove sediment from storm water. Our Grower’s Mulch is used as a filter media when we produce the filter socks. Applications include sediment control, inlet and storm drain protection, pollutant reduction, and soil erosion reduction.

Grow socks support vegetative growth and green infrastructure. We use our Planter’s Blend Compost when producing our grow socks. Applications include hillside erosion control, pollutant reduction, bioretention basins and rain gardens.

Ask Dr. K which compost sock type and size is right for your project. You can also purchase the mesh separately for a blower truck installation. Please Contact Dr. K to discuss your application and work through the logistics.

We will be offering more Compost Socks options soon!

We are in the process of expanding our capabilities to offer more compost sock options in the near future. Contact us for details and to place your order. Stay tuned!