Fill Dirt: Clean Fill vs. Certified Fill vs. Septic Fill

Before starting your construction project, it’s important to understand the differences in fill dirt and how they’re used. Selecting an organic topsoil to level out your land, or utilizing the wrong filler around your septic system could lead to disaster.

In an effort to assist with picking out the type of fill dirt your project will need, we’ve created a helpful guide that compares clean fill dirt, certified fill dirt and septic fill dirt.

Clean Fill Dirt

Despite the name, clean fill is not actually “clean” in the traditional sense (it is dirt, after all). In this context, the word “clean” refers to the fact that the dirt is free from any contaminants such as corrosives, combustibles, noxious or reactive materials, radioactive substances or any organic material.

Additionally, clean fill dirt should not contain dangerous refuse, rubble, muck, metal, glass or wood. Clean fill dirt is generally considered to be virgin material that was obtained from either a commercial or non-commercial source.

People might be seeking clean fill in order to fill in holes or uneven areas on their property, to level a construction area, to change the elevation of an area or for improved drainage. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that just because a seller claims that his fill is clean, this does not necessarily guarantee that this is the case.

Certified Fill Dirt

Just about anyone can claim that they provide clean fill dirt. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you only purchase certified fill dirt. The word certified makes a world of a difference and will help assure you that you won’t have problems with the material in the years ahead.

If any organic substances have been mixed in with the fill dirt, for example, the decomposition could result in voids in the soil which can lead to sinking and other integrity issues. For obvious reasons, you do not want to use fill with dangerous materials when working on your next landscaping, leveling, drainage or construction project.

It is because of this that savvy individuals choose to buy fill from reputable suppliers like Braen Stone. The certified fill dirt that is sold at Braen Stone satisfies the demands of Unified Soil Classification System for GW, GP, GM, GC, SW, SP and SM. Braen Stone even offers fill dirt for sale! Additionally, you will be able to enjoy the peace of mind that particle sizes are never greater than six inches in diameter.

Septic Fill

Sometimes called manufactured sand or concrete sand, septic fill is designed specifically to fill in and around septic tanks. Because the fill does not retain moisture and because it has been pre-screened, there will be no settling or clumping that could cause sunken and wet areas.

The fill helps to create a highly effective leaching field that percolates at an optimum speed. Usually septic fill is utilized in cases when the earth around a tank won’t drain properly as a result of high groundwater levels, or soil that has a high amount of clay content.

Septic fill can also be useful in other applications. The material may be used in construction projects as a means of leveling areas that will be paved, in areas under above ground pools or for beach volleyball courts.

When purchasing septic fill, it is very important that you look for quality blends that have been cleaned, sorted and shifted specifically for use in septic filtering systems. Braen Stone, for example, sells septic fill that has been rated K4 on the percolation scale and has been approved for use in septic tank leaching fields throughout NJ, NY, PA and CT.


By | 2020-04-02T11:54:46-04:00 September 10th, 2013|Fill Dirt|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dirk is a Project Manager at Braen Stone. He's an expert on a variety of construction materials and prides himself on helping the company meet the needs of companies large and small.