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ASTM D5268-19e1

Standard Specification for Topsoil Used for Landscaping and Construction Purposes

1.1 This specification covers a physical evaluation of a soil containing organic material, relative to its use as a topsoil for vegetative growth purposes in landscaping and construction. For classification, a full agricultural textural classification may be used. Soils being evaluated for use as a topsoil must meet the requirements in Table 1.

1.2 When physically evaluating a soil, relative to its suitability to support plant growth (primarily grasses), tests must be made to determine the presence and the amount of organic matter, moisture content, inorganic matter (sand, silt and clay), pH, salt content, cation exchange capacity percentages and deleterious materials.

1.3 The presence in the soil of the correct nutrients, salts, and pH is necessary for healthy plant growth. This specification does not cover a determination of the nutrients, nor their availability.

1.4 Typical ranges of topsoil composition are presented in Table 1. Soils falling within these ranges will generally form a suitable topsoil. Soils being used as a topsoil with organic matter contents between 10 and 90 %, may need to be amended prior to use. It must, however, be recognized that in some geographic regions, achieving the values in Table 1 could be difficult. In such cases, alternative specifications may need to be considered, or an engineered soilamendment meeting the requirements in Table 1 excluding the sand, silt, and clay content as those materials will come from the subsurface soil being amended. When using an engineered soil amendment, the organic matter values need to be >75 % to help rebuild the subsoil layers.

1.5 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.6 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026, unless superseded by this test method.

1.6.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in the standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of these test methods to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering data.

1.7 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.8 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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