No, these aren't what my socks are called after I spend all day in the field for construction administration (those would be tick socks). The compost socks I'm talking about are erosion control measures courtesy of the Robeson Creek Watershed Council & NCSU Water Quality Group. Thanks to their generous donation, Southern Park is using this innovative technology to keep sediment loosened by construction activities from migrating into area streams. The socks form long barriers around the park's playground and parking lot areas. Traditional silt fence is used elsewhere on site.
Here's how it works. The compost socks are long fabric bags encasing composted mulch. These socks replace standard erosion control fencing and are superior in a number of ways. First, they don’t require digging a trench to install, unlike traditional silt fence, which greatly minimizes damage to tree roots around sensitive areas (the playground in this instance). Second, the compost inside provides biological filtering of certain pollution in the run off, thus providing extra protection for the area's water bodies. Finally, clean up is as simple as slitting the bag and leaving the mulch in place. Some applications allow for adding grass seed and leaving the bags in place as a permanent fixture.
Compost socks can be used for a wide variety of erosion control measures. NCDOT has used compost for erosion control on a number of large projects, although the technology is still relatively uncommon. More info here if you're interested: http://www.filtrexx.com/sediment_control.htm
|Compost sock erosion control in action at Southern Park.|