If you're developing a site and you've found asbestos in the soil, you can hire someone to remove the asbestos infected soil, but rather than having it hauled to a landfill, you may be able to keep and contain it. Looking for ideas? Although it depends on your unique situation, here are some of the possibilities:
1. Hardstanding surfaces or decking
If you are not going to have contact with the soil, you can contain the asbestos by building hardstanding surfaces or decking over the infected soil. While installing the surfaces over the asbestos-ridden soil, keep the soil most. That prevents the fibres from flying into the work area. Ideally, you want to use solid-surface decks or hard surfaces such as concrete for driveways, walkways, parking lots, foundations or similar projects. Once in place, the hardstanding layers effectively break exposure routes between humans and the asbestos in the soil.
2. Clean cover system
If there are only low levels of asbestos in your soil, you may be able to contain it without removing it by adding a clean cover system. That simply means adding clean topsoil to the top layer. This works if you plan to build on the site, but it is not appropriate for gardening. For that you need to go more deeply into the soil.
3. Eliminating everything but deep fill
When excavating soil with asbestos, if you want to plant in the soil or if the soil has relatively high levels of asbestos, you should plan to remove a fairly deep layer of it. However, you don't necessarily have to excavate to the bedrock. You may be able to leave a large layer of soil, even if it has some asbestos in it.
However, over the top of that, your asbestos mitigation crew will place a layer of geotextile over it, and then cap everything with clean soil. The geotextile layer prevents any of the asbestos from the bottom soil from migrating upward to the top soil, ensuring it stays clean.
If you have a lot of asbestos in the soil, you may need to have it removed. However, in some cases, you can avoid a complete excavation and the sending of tons of dirt to the landfill by exploring other options. To determine what you need to do, have the soil tested, contact an asbestos removal and mitigation expert, and consult the laws in your area.