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Soil Science Society of America
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

Building from the ground up

Soil tests ensure solid foundation

Dec. 1, 2016 –  The wise person builds on a solid foundation. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA December 1st Soils Matter blog post explains what goes into deciding soil’s suitability for a construction project.

Frontloader on home construction site“The goal is to determine what loads the soil can support,” says blog author Scott Glick from Colorado State University. “If the soil does not support the expected loads (trucks, cars, homes, etc.), modifications can be made to the soil. An alternative would be to build suitable foundations to support the proposed loads.”

Exploratory information includes borings at various depths. Further inspection by a soil engineer occurs once the site is excavated.

Beyond concerns about weight-bearing, groundwater may also be an issue onsite. “In some cases, the presence of groundwater could negate the design of a basement for the home. There can also be regulations for the minimum distance between the foundation and the groundwater,” Glick says.

To read the entire blog post, visit

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive, international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. It provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.

SSSA supports its members by providing quality research-based publications, educational programs, certifications, and science policy initiatives via a Washington, DC, office. Founded in 1936, SSSA proudly celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2011. For more information, visit or follow @SSSA_soils on Twitter.