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  • Dirt Alert! Resources

    We link you to what you need to know.

    Learn steps to safely get rid of your contaminated soil.

    • What should I do with small and large amounts of soil?
    • When can I take my soil to the transfer station?
    • How much will soil disposal cost?
    • Should I hire a contractor?

    Get Covered! Mulching Instructions

    • What is mulch?
    • What should I use?
    • How much do I need?

    • Regional information.
    • Media resources.
    • Information in Spanish.
    • Landscape information.
    • Pet health effects information.

    Washington State Department of Ecology

    • Technical help.
    • Soil replacement.

    King County Health Department-Dirt Alert!—Tacoma Smelter Plume resources for residents of King County.

    Thurston County Health Department-Dirt Alert!—Tacoma Smelter Plume resources for residents of Thurston County.

    Their Mines, Our Stories—Work, Environment and Justice in ASARCO-Affected Communities: Stories from Evergreen State College faculty.

    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry—More information about health effects of arsenic and lead.

    Resources for backyard chickens

    Chickens who ingest soil with high lead levels may lay eggs that contain small amounts of lead. You can help keep lead out of your chicken’s eggs:

    • Ask us to test your soil. It’s best if we test your chicken run before you get chickens, but better late than never!  If you have areas with high levels of lead, avoid them or use clean soil when you build your chicken run.
    • If you’re outside of our free testing area, you can take your samples to a local lab. It usually costs $40-$50 per area, though some labs charge a $150 minimum. You can also save money and get extra info if you send samples to UMass Amherst. They’ll test for lead and a variety of garden nutrients.
    • Add 4 inches of clean soil, mulch, or other cover material to existing chicken runs to reduce the chance your chickens touch or ingest contaminated soil. Inspect often and add to it or maintain it as needed.
    • Feed chickens in feeders. Avoid scattering feed—including scratch grains and food scraps—on bare ground in areas where the soil has higher levels of lead.
    • Give your chickens a calcium supplement, which may reduce the amount of lead in their eggs.