Check Dams for Ditches and Swales

Check dams prevent erosion by decreasing the velocity of water and filtering sediment from runoff. Install them in swales, ditches or waterways to stop water and prevent downhill erosion.

Types of Check Dams

Triangular Silt Dike installed as a check dam

Triangular Silt Dike

A Triangular Silt Dike is a reusable urethane foam check dam in the shape of a triangle. The foam structure is wrapped in woven geotextile fabric. Staple or trench in the Triangular Silt Dike’s geotextile apron to secure it in place.


  • Ditch checks
  • Diversion dikes
  • Drop inlet protection
  • Temporary ditch liner
  • Stream and pond protection

Product Features

  • Lightweight
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Reusable
  • Available in black, orange and green
SizeBundle Quantity
10″ x 7′4 per bag
Triangular Silt Dike Specification
Compost Filter Sock for check dam on highway project

Compost Filter Sock

If you are looking for a wattle check dam, consider Compost Filter Sock. This erosion control wattle is filled wood chips and wrapped in tightly woven netting. Stack or stake Compost Filter Sock wattles in waterways and swales to trap sediment, filter runoff and prevent erosion.

A 10-foot wattle works for most check dam designs. If you need a longer wattle, consider a single continuous pallet and cut to the desired size.


  • Ditch checks
  • Inlet protection
  • Slope interruption
  • Perimeter control
  • Silt fence reinforcement

Product Features

  • Dynamic sizing
  • Heavyweight check dam stays in place
  • Use one product for multiple applications on site
SizePallet Quantity
8″ x 10′18 per pallet
8″ x 200′1 per pallet
12″ x 10′10 per pallet
18″ x 55′1 per pallet
24″ x 30′1 per pallet
Stakes included with continuous pallets
Compost Filter Sock Specification
Product Brochure
Installation Guide
Compost Filer Sock Drawings
Curlex Sediment Log for check dam next to road

Curlex® Sediment Log®

The Curlex® Sediment Log®, known as an Excelsior Log, is another option for a wattle check dam. This erosion control log has a natural aspen wood fiber filling that dissipates energy in mild to moderate flow areas. For high flow applications, stack or stake the Curlex® Sediment Log® and secure it in place with Oak Stakes.


Product Features

  • Lightweight
  • Filled with patented Curlex fibers
  • Open weave netting
SizePallet Quantity
12″ x 10′18 per pallet
Excelsior Log Specification
Product Brochure
Safety Data Sheet

What is a Rock Check Dam?

The most traditional ditch check is the rock check dam.

A rock check dam is a barrier of rip rap stone that is dumped or stacked across a swale. As water travels through the swale, the rocks slow down the water and filter the sediment. These dams are effective but not user-friendly. Rock dams required the contractor to purchase a load of stone, transport it to the site, dump it in each place and spread it purposefully across the ditch.

In lieu of traditional Rip Rap Rock Check Dams, we suggest a Triangular Silk Dike, Compost Filter Sock or a Curlex Sediment Log.

Explore more erosion control products

Erosion Control Blankets


Silt Fence

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