Soil replacement for residential yards

We're working neighborhood-by-neighborhood to replace soil in qualifying residential yards in the Tacoma Smelter Plume area. We will contact you to discuss options when we reach your neighborhood.

For news on the Yard Program’s accomplishments and upcoming work, visit the Yard Program updates page.

Planning for soil replacement

We start the planning process a year before soil replacement takes place. Planning for cleanup takes several months and the contractor has the whole contract period to complete soil replacement. We qualify yards by reviewing soil sampling results and evaluating the property during our first visit.

Some properties or portions of yards might not qualify for soil replacement due to steep slopes, retaining walls, and other areas that are excluded from cleanup. We don't remove soil around trees or large plantings, rock walls, ponds, or under pavement or decks. To learn more, read our excluded areas handout.

When we're ready to start the planning process, we mail a letter to property owners inviting them to participate and attend a program orientation meeting.

Before, during, and after soil replacement.
We started replacing soil in the darkest colored areas, and are moving to the lighter areas. We are currently working in area 2 (areas A, B, and C). 
Area Sequence
within area
1 D, F, J, K, L
2 B, C, A
3 M, N, I
4 G, H
5 O, R, P, S, Q

Soil replacement progress outside the study area

This map shows our soil replacement sequence outside the study area. There are seven areas outside the study area. Each area includes one to four different letter groups. You can find your letter group by entering your address into our Dirt Alert map and downloading documents found under “more information.” You can also download a text description of the cleanup sequence.

The soil replacement sequence is based on the percentage of properties that qualify with arsenic over 100 parts per million (ppm), geographic proximity, and total number of properties in a group. 

We will start with the darkest shades of brown and move to the lighter shades over time. We plan to begin work in area A in 2019.
Area Sequence
within area
1 A
2 D
3 B, C
4 G
5 E, F, H
6 I, J, K, M
7 L, ZZ