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Riprap, also called gabion rock, helps to slow down incoming stormwater as it enters your facility. Maintain riprap during summer months when the weather is dry. Regular maintenance is possible with common tools, but bigger jobs, often the result of delayed maintenance, may require an excavator. Keeping riprap maintained will reduce channeling in your facility and can prevent costly damages caused by erosion.

riprap in a stormwater facility
Riprap accumulates sediment and debris that
must be removed periodically.





Where to find it:

Riprap is typically located just after the inlet. The rocks may be buried under sediment and vegetation if not maintained for extended periods.

When to maintain it:

Maintain riprap in summer months when the weather is dry and sediment begins to cover riprap. 

What you'll need:

  • shovel
  • rake
  • bucket lined with trash bags.
  • work gloves and PPE

Additional riprap, pruners, weed eater, pressure washer or excavator may also be needed in some cases.

Tools you'll need:

riprap tools


riprap before maintenance covered in sediment and vegetation
This riprap is buried in sediment and covered
in vegetation.


riprap after maintenance and clear of sediment and vegetation
Sediment and vegetation has been removed
and riprap replaced.

Step 1

Clear vegetation and sediment off the top of the riprap with a rake, shovel or by hand.

clearing vegetation of off the riprap

Step 2

Take rocks off one at a time, remove sediment and set aside.

removing riprap rocks

Step 3

Shovel accumulated sediment into a trash bag for disposal.

removing sediment from under riprap

Step 4

Replace riprap so multiple layers of rock cover native soil. Dispose of sediment in regular trash.

replacing riprap rocks

Printable maintenance card

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riprap rack cark COVER.jpg



Stormwater facilities where riprap is commonly found: 

BiofiltrationSwale sm sq.jpg






DetentionPond sm sq.jpg

 Detention pond


InfiltrationBasin2 sm sq.jpg

 Infiltration basin


TreatmentWetland sm sq.jpg

 Treatment wetland