Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer, to Advance Rainwater Management and Water Conservation Goals?



An Integrated Solution

An absorbent topsoil layer has emerged as a fundamental building block for achieving water sustainability outcomes through implementation of green infrastructure practices.

A  ‘performing topsoil’ has many benefits including limiting runoff during wet-weather periods and reducing water need during dry-weather periods.

Developed by the Green Infrastructure Partnership, the ‘Topsoil Primer Set’ synthesizes the pioneering experience of the City of Surrey, City of Courtenay and District of North Vancouver.

To help raise awareness that this practical resource is now available, CivicInfoBC has added the Topsoil Primer Set to its database. Click on Toolkits & Microsites – Resource #39.


Topsoil to Increase Absorbency and Save Water

“Conserving the existing, improving or adding ‘topsoil’ to a site is one means of achieving on-site source control of rainwater. Adequate depth of good quality topsoil on new or existing (re)developments has many benefits,” states John Sidnell, a member of the Green Infrastructure Partnership steering committee. He represents the Master Municipal Construction Documents Association.

“Upping absorbency, the topsoil layer assists community rainwater management infiltration objectives and supports strategies to conserve water which may be in scarce supply.”

“Lawns built to meet a topsoil standard are also less prone to weeds or chemical interventions (herbicides and pesticides) – an additional environmental and health benefit.”


To Learn More:

Two guidance documents are available, one deals with Law and Policy, and the other provides Technical information.


Posted March 2010