How to fill a 60cm trench that was dug for an electric cable

23 Jun 2022
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I just finished digging 60cm trench for an electric cable. I will re-fill it with the earth that I removed. Is there a special method I should use to ensure the earth is the same density as it was before digging it up? I don't want to have a big mound because all the earth doesn't fit. I also don't want the earth sinking after re-filling.

The earth was very saturated and is made of sand and soil. Maybe some clay.

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It won’t all fit first time and will settle.
you will need to add more after that.
The cable should have a polythene tape in the trench before filling so that someone digging there in future knows to stop.

I think (?) that it# a good idea to chuck some sand or gravel in the hole to cover the cable as the soil won’t be easy to pack around the cable. Then backfill and bag up or otherwise store the excess soil for when it sinks.

Use a tree stump or similar to compact as you go. Simply thumping a mound of earth that doesn’t fit won’t work.
You need to fill a few inches, compact, add more….
Before you fill it in, think about chucking a duct in (in case you want internet, burglar alarm, anything random like that) at the far end.
As above, sand to cover the cable (and duct) by 50mm or so, then marker tape, then ideally bricks or bits of concrete or anything else solid to discourage a future hole-digger, then more marker tape, then soil (chuck the clay in first, tamp it down as advised), more tape when you're about 200mm below ground then topsoil.

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