Ben’s Branch Update: Channel Wide Open, HCFCD Hydromulching Banks

Harris County Flood Control District’s (HCFCD) work on Ben’s Branch has been one of the bright spots in flood mitigation since Hurricane Harvey. The channel is now wide open, bulldozers are neatening up the banks, and crews are hydromulching this morning.

What Is Hydromulch?

Hydromulch (or hydraulic mulch seeding, hydro-mulching, hydraseeding) is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed, mulch, and fertilizer. It is often used as an erosion control technique on construction sites, as an alternative to dry seed. The “gel” accelerates the growth of grass by providing enough moisture and nutrients for the seeds to germinate even in dry weather.

Progress Photos

Paul Campbell of Towncenter Apartments caught this shot outside his apartment this morning.

Hydromulching the banks of Ben’s Branch on 4/25/2020. Photo courtesy of Paul Campbell.
Looking northwest over Ben’s Branch toward YMCA soccer fields (upper left). This and photos below taken 4/21/2020.
Looking west up Ben’s Branch toward Kingwood Greens and Kingwood Country Club Forest Course across West Lake Houston Parkway. YMCA soccer fields in upper left.
Reverse shot of the wide-open Ben’s Branch Channel looking east toward YMCA across West Lake Houston Parkway.

Hydromulching is usually the last step in channel repairs. Planting grass reduces erosion. Without it, rain would simply carry silt back into the channel.

Like New Again

Many thanks to the hard-working folks of the Harris County Flood Control district and their contractors.

In the last year, they have removed approximately 80,000 cubic yards of silt from the area between Kingwood Drive and the YMCA. Despite setbacks during Tropical Storm Imelda. Conveyance should now be restored to what it was in the mid-1990s.

Ben’s Branch hasn’t looked this good in decades. And residents will be much safer from flooding in future storms.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/25/2020 with thanks to Paul Campbell and HCFCD

970 Days After Hurricane Harvey