Clean Fill Stockpile Sampling

AEL environment is routinely tasked with finding clean fill for our existing projects. While fill dumps and transfer stations exist, standards developed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) require that soil transferred from one site to another must meet the receiving Site standards to be considered acceptable “clean” fill.

In May 2015, AEL environment was tasked with sampling a stockpile of fill materials for a client hoping to regrade a future residential development.  The soil source site was coming from the excavation of a new condo site in Toronto. Preliminary test results from the site showed it did not meet the MOECC criteria for the receiving site due to salt impacts, a common occurrence in urban setting. In order to maximize the available fill material the potentially salt impacted soil had been excavated approximately 4m down to native sandy clay and AEL environment was asked to check this native material for suitability as fill. 

View of the excavation

In order to expedite the work, we treated this as an in-situ stockpile and proceeded to take the required 75 soil samples for field screening purposes required for fill pile volumes of 1500 m3 or greater¹.  These numbers have been determined by the MOECC in O. Reg 153/04. Sampling was taken in a grid pattern, at various sampling depths over the entire source pile to ensure the soil samples accurately represented the site. Based on the screening results samples were selected for laboratory analysis which confirmed the site as suitable for clean fill.

More information on the Ontario Fill Guideline can be found here. We have a large network of clients and other contacts in place to help find sites that could potentially meet our needs. If you are generating or need surplus fill feel free to contact us.

All samples bagged

All samples were field screened for VOCs and metals.  VOC screening was performed using a photoionization detector (PID); metals screening was performed using AEL’s  X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device for metals. This screening helped identify contaminated samples, with 15 confirmation samples sent to a CALA certified laboratory for analysis.

The material from this site met the client’s Site Standard for residential sites and is ready to be moved to its new home this week!

¹-These numbers have been determined by the MOECC in O. Reg 153/04