Not All Dirt Is Equal: Choosing The Right Fill Dirt For Your Needs

by Connor Pena

When you need to buy a load of fill dirt, do not assume it is all the same. What might be perfect for one project is not at all appropriate for another. For example, if you are going to be filling in a swimming pool, or trying to level your yard, the fill dirt you use will be different from what you would use for a vegetable garden, or to fill in around a septic tank. Here are the different types of fill dirt and their uses.

Clean Fill Dirt

While dirt cannot actually be "clean," it can be free of contaminants like chemicals, corrosives, trash or organic materials. However, there is no regulatory agent that states exactly what clean fill dirt is. In other words, you only have the word of the person you are buying it from as to it being clean. Because of this, you should use this type of dirt areas where you will not be growing things to be consumed. Use it for lawn areas that need to be made level, to create a dirt course for bikes or 4-wheelers, or for filling in ditches made when repairing plumbing.

Certified Fill Dirt

This type of dirt has been through inspections to prove it is free from any garbage like glass, plastic or metals, has no chemicals, and has no organic matter that will decompose and leave the area with large holes or dips. Use this dirt for your vegetable garden. If you plan on growing foods that will later be certified as organic, you will need to have this type of dirt as your growing medium.

Septic Fill Dirt

When you need to fill around a septic tank, you want to use a dirt that will not hold water. You want the waste water in the tank to flow out into the drain field instead of being absorbed by the dirt around the tank. This dirt is also good for underneath a pool or anyplace you will be pouring concrete or asphalt. It is very much like sand, however it does not clump together.

When you contact an aggregate company like Southern Landscape Materials, ask what types of fill dirt they offer. Do not settle for any type of dirt when you know it will be used for something specific. Using the right kind of fill dirt is good for the environment and the health and well-being of your family.