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Soil Science Society of America
5585 Guilford Road • Madison, WI 53711-5801 • 608-273-8080 • Fax 608-273-2021
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Contact: Susan V. Fisk, Public Relations Director, 608-273-8091,

How can I fix my falling retaining wall?

Where prevention fails, repair follows

July 1, 2017 –  If your retaining wall is looking more like a leaky eyesore, help is on the way! The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) July 1 Soils Matter blog post explains maintenance retaining walls require, and options for reinforcing them.

Retaining wall with plant growth coming through bricks“Several factors may cause a retaining wall to fail,” says soil scientist Christina Hebb. “Often they result from poor engineering or not understanding the conditions at the location.”

Hebb offers a few ideas to try before you resort to excavating:

·  Regrade the area maintained by the wall to redirect water flow away from the wall. This will reduce some of the water pressure that may be building up behind the wall.

·  Drill additional weep holes into the wall to allow for increased surface drainage.

·  Reduce the height of the retained material by regrading. Sometimes changing the landscape design is an acceptable method to an allowable limit based on the wall design.

·  Transfer some of the shear force at the location where the wall connects with the ground. This increases the overall strength of the wall.

To read the entire blog post, visit…g-retaining-wall/.

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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.