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How to backfill a trench?

 How to backfill a trench using a tamper

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After digging your trench, a trench tamper can be a useful tool when backfilling (refilling your trench with soil) and restoring the land.
shovelling 4-5 inches of soil in trench hole

Step 1 – Refill trench

Begin by moving the soil you removed from your trench back into it. If you do not have the soil you removed, use a soil that is native to your area.

Use a shovel to refill your trench and spread it in an even layer until it’s about 10-12cm (4-5″) high.

ramming down the first layer of soil in trench hole

Step 2 – Use trench tamper

Use your trench tamper to compact the soil in the trench. Use a firm pressure to pack down the soil, but be more careful when directly tamping over pipes or cables so as not to damage them.

This is why a manual trench tamper is preferable over a mechanical one when backfilling a trench.

trench completely filled with layers of rammed earth

Step 3 – Repeat

Repeat the process, adding more soil and compacting until the trench is completely filled to ground level.

A mechanical tamper can be useful for larger trenching projects to finish off the levelling, once the trench has been filled.

Wonkee Donkee tip! Do not fill the trench when the ground is frozen or muddy, it won't work!

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