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Soil Identification Matters

Mitchel Hanlon
Written by: Mitchel Hanlon

Why is dirt the derogatory name for soil? Negative connotations are widely associated with dirt and being dirty. Conversely, soil is a positive word, but aren’t they the same thing? 

Dirt is defined as displaced soil. However, soil is a living thing - a complete and self-sustaining ecosystem. It is alive with organisms like worms, fungi, insects and bacteria. The thought that dirt is effectively dead soil, containing none of the minerals found in the organised ecosystem that is soil is incorrect. When you look at dirt/soil/clay/sod or ground, the physical characteristics vary widely.  Across soil types, they all need identification to be undertaken by environmental scientists. 

Variances in soil include the texture, colour, depth, structure and the overall composition, with each type having particular strengths and weaknesses that affect suitability for different uses. Sand, loam and clay are all texture grades, also mixing with each other to different extents to create further texture grades. 

But why is this important to us? It's just dirt. 

At Hanlons we employ specialist Environmental Scientists that are experts in the field of soils and dirts. They have spent years studying, discussing, and analysing the classifications, compositions and textures, and work alongside our engineers, surveyors and project managers. With their vast knowledge they are able to make recommendations and assessments at an individual project by project basis ensuring that Hanlons jobs are always a success. 

Imagine starting a project and realising at the end that the foundation was built assuming the soil was an “S” site classification (slightly reactive)… but really it was a H1-H2 that is a highly reactive site that required additional footings. Let's be honest, that would be an expensive fix.  

Hanlons offer soil assessments as part of our firm’s environmental services to keep your project moving. Get in touch to learn more about our soil assessments and how we can add value to your project.

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Mitchel Hanlon Consulting Pty Ltd ABN 51 104 693 736