Officine Maccaferri


Maccaferri resolves erosion and flooding queries using Geomat & Gabion combination solutions


Two recent projects exemplify aptly how Maccaferri’s Geomat and Gabion products help reduce flooding in areas by reducing embankment erosion and subesquent collapse.

Among other things, Maccaferri is a global leading producer and supplier of geomat and gabion combination solutions. Projects all over the globe have benefitted from the combined effectiveness of Maccaferri products in protecting embankments from flooding, erosion, and collapse.

While Maccaferri often designs installations for problematic areas that have not benefitted from previous instalments, Maccaferri also devotes equal time and effort to improving pre-existing works. One such example was the eThekwini flood mitigation and storm water management project in Chesterville, South Africa, where residents of the Molife Road had raised complaints against flooding related issues.

Flooding was caused by upstream silting and blocking of the nearby channel. Scouring induced by the high velocities of the stream flow led to the steady collapse of the river embankment. Gabion units that had previously been installed in the area had not been specified correctly with an additional polymeric coating to the galvanised wire mesh; thus the mesh had been damaged by the highly abrasive bedload. Accordingly the eThekwini Municipality proposed to upgrade and redesign the lining protection. Maccaferri was chosen to provide a gabion structure as an embankment protection measure and to repair the existing damaged gabions.

The newly installed gabion structure varies between 3m and 5m in height. Mattresses were used for the base of the channels. MacMat R Geomats were used in areas where the erosive shear forces were expected to be lower to optimise value for the client. The structure has the added benefit of enabling the important re-vegetation of the area which not only adds to the sustainability of the work but also increases the life expectancy of the structure.

The Gabions and Mattresses installed were steel wire mesh baskets manufactured from double twist hexagonal mesh in accordance with SANS 1580:2010. The structures were established according to the methods and principles laid out in SANS 1200 DK. The project employed approximately 50 people from the community, of which 75% were women. Currently, the Geomat and Gabion solution is successfully mitigating erosion.

Further exemplifying the use of Gabion and Geomat combination solutions was a bank erosion project in Umzinto. The area was faced with torrential rains and floods, thus leading to severe erosion of the river banks.

In the case of this project, the client opted for a Gabion and Reno mattress combination solution that was designed by Maccaferri specifically to protect the river for a length of approximately 470 meters, and heights varying from 1.3 to 4.5 meters. Similarly to the eThekwini project, this project provided a myriad of job opportunities for the community and resulted in the successful mitigation of flooding and erosion.

For more information, please contact us.

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