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Fill dirt is earthy material that is used to fill in a depression or hole in the ground or create mounds or otherwise artificially change the grade or elevation of real property. Fill dirt is usually subsoil (soil from beneath the top soil) and underlying soil parent material that has little soil organic matter or biological activity. Fill dirt is taken from a location where soil is being removed as a part of leveling an area for construction; it may also contain sand, rocks, and stones, as well as earth. Fill dirt should be as free of organic matter as possible since organic matter will decompose creating pockets of empty space within the fill that could result in settling. Settling of the fill can and will possibly result in damage to any structures built on the fill.
A common use of fill dirt is in highway maintenance to build up the shoulders of highways or embankments so that the ground on either side of the pavement is at the same level as the pavement itself and that the highway shoulders are sufficiently wide as to allow vehicles room to pull off of the highway if needed.
A second common use of fill dirt is to fill in a low lying construction site to raise the level of the building foundation in order to reduce the chances of flooding. Fill dirt is also used for landscaping projects that involve the creation of ridges and earth structures for pools, waterfalls, and other water features as well as to break up a level area in order to provide more interesting textures to the landscape.