Have you ever wondered where the dirt goes that gets dug up on a construction site? Drive by any large development construction project and it is not unlikely to see a stockpile of dirt. It can either generate money for a site, or it can create additional costs and headaches. Dirt that is removed from a construction site can be valuable, especially if the dirt is clean. The excess dirt can in some cases can be used to level the ground or fill in holes on another construction site and sold to other businesses. Knowing about your dirt and how to utilize it on a land development site saves time and money during construction.
An important piece of land development is the due diligence done before construction starts and understanding the soils that will be disturbed and potentially moved offsite. There are tools online to assist with verifying for contamination and to see what remediation has already been done prior to the construction. If there is known contamination, then additional testing may be required to see what type of contamination is currently present. It can be advantageous to treat the soil so that it may be reused on site or sold to another for use. If the contaminated soil is not treated it can be harmful to human health. The contaminated soil can be treated by destroying, removing or detoxifying the contaminants.
If soil is contaminated, contractors will want to limit the spread of any contamination. When contaminated soil is hauled into stockpiles on site, and it is important to cover the stockpile with a tarp to avoid the wind blowing it away. The dirt will need to remain covered until testing shows that it is no longer contaminated. It can be in some cases a lengthy and costly process to remove the contamination. If the contaminated area is very large or the concentrations are high, it may be more beneficial to haul the dirt to an approved landfill.
Dirt is an essential part of construction and understanding the dirt on your site can help reduce potential problems. Working to better reuse your clean dirt can make for a more profitable project. Know your dirt!