Soil Deposit & Removal Permits
Learn about Surrey's soil deposition and removal processes and permit requirements.
We require soil permits for fill material to be placed on properties within Surrey.
This requirement ensures that placement of materials on sites does not affect neighbouring properties or local stormwater system operations, and is in conformance with the Agricultural Land Reserve requirements.
Soil Permits are required for deposition or removal of soil in excess of 15 m3 (slightly less than 3 single [5 to 6 m3] truck loads) or soil placed to a depth of 0.5m (whichever is less) on a given property.
Under certain conditions, a Notice of Intent letter from the City of Surrey may be approved for volumes between 15 and 100 m3. A Notice of Intent does not require a fee or bonding, but a copy of the letter must be posted onsite while soil is being deposited.
Where sites are located on slopes >20% (1:5 slope), a professional engineer must be retained to advise on any volume of soil to be removed or deposited.
Removal or deposition of soil volumes greater than 100 m3 triggers a requirement for a soil permit, which requires:
- plan and profile drawings
- a report addressing items on checklist below
- an ESC Plan prepared by a professional engineer
When applying for a soil permit, start by filling out the Soil Permit Application checklist available with the application.
Soil permits are subject to fees and bonding. A laminated copy of the soil permit must be posted on site for the duration of the deposition or removal of soil.
A list of permitted soil deposition sites is available on COSMOS under Drainage Soil Permits.
Exemptions & Considerations
- Soil permit exemptions include soil volumes associated with building permits and subdivisions (except as described). City infrastructure projects and projects involving senior government agencies may also be exempt.
- Agricultural Land Reserve-related soil permits, where more than 0.2 Ha (~1/2 acre) of land is proposed to be disturbed by deposition of soil, requires approval from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and are usually not supported by the ALC. This 0.2 Ha area includes the sum of soil placement for driveways, “home plate” and septic fields. Accessory buildings for farm use, and their associated soil placement, can be up to 2 percent of total farmable land.
- Soil permit applications within the Nicomekl and Serpentine River flood plains must be given special consideration and be consistent with City's Overall Floodplain Strategy.
- Soil means the entire mantle of natural material above bedrock, including, but not limited to, sand, gravel, rock, silt, clay, peat or topsoil.
- Manure, hog-fuel and sawdust used for farming activities are not considered soil, so a permit is not required to deposit these materials.
- Pavement grindings are considered to be soil when they are used for the capping for roads and other working surfaces. Pavement grindings are not permitted soil when used for pre-loading and flood proofing.
- All soil permits will require an Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) Plan if the parcel area is more than 2000 m2. The review of this plan will be through the City’s staff administering the soil permit.