Product FAQs

Find FAQs by clicking any of the links below.

CSP Culvert

CSP stands for Corrugate Steel Pipe. CSP is available in multiple factory-applied finishes to accommodate the wide variety of performance and hydrology considerations: Galvanized, Aluminized Type 2, and Polymer- Laminated. 

CSP is steel piping most commonly used as a culvert, drainage system, or stormwater channel. CSP is the material of choice because it offers the optimum combination of strength, flexibility and performance. CSP is available in round or pipe arch profiles.

Polymer Laminate CSP is a tough, heavy-gauge film that is laminated to both sides of galvanized steel to produce a corrosion and abrasion barrier for the most aggressive environments. Polymer Laminate CSP offers a service life of up to 100 years.

To learn more about proper installation guidelines, view this Corrugated Steel Pipe Institute (CSPI) installation manual

The CSPI is the association of Canadian corrugated steel pipe (CSP) manufacturers. An impartial organization that works with manufacturers, engineers, and municipalities around the world to gather data and information. Making CSPI the essential information resource for water and soil management in Canada.

HDPE Culvert

The features and benefits of BOSS HDPE PIPE include being more lightweight and cost-effective than CSP culvert while maintaining durability, chemical resistance, and UV resistance.

HDPE Pipe is manufactured from high-density polyethylene resin which meets or exceeds the cell class requirements of ASTM D3350.

HDPE BOSS 2000 corrugate pipe ranges from 100mm to 900mm diameter corrugate high-density polyethylene pipe. This combines a smooth interior wall and annular exterior corrugations for gravity-flow drainage applications.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Gravity Pipe Design Guidelines states a 75 year designated service life for HDPE.

The CSPI is the association of Canadian corrugated steel pipe (CSP) manufacturers. An impartial organization that works with manufacturers, engineers, and municipalities around the world to gather data and information. Making CSPI the essential information resource for water and soil management in Canada.

For Installation steps, view page 5 of our HDPE culvert brochure.

Sewer Pipe

PVC is widely viewed as the best material for sewer lines. PVC solid sewer pipe is used for the collection of waste and stormwater from domestic sources, while perforated sewer pipe is used for septic fields and foundation drainage.

SS HDPE PIPE include being more lightweight and cost-effective than CSP culvert while maintaining durability, chemical resistance, and UV resistance.

There is a huge range of common sewer pipe diameters available at Ontario Agra. Our most popular is 4” non-CSA PVC pipe. 

Sewer pipes are most commonly made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride). PVC sewer pipe is highly resistant to chemicals found in sewage and industrial waste. PVC also has a smooth internal surface to reduce waste flow resistance.

Always check with your local municipality prior to installing any sewer pipe. For a general guideline, view this installation recommendation from the PVC Pipe Association.

Non-Woven Geotextiles

Non-woven geotextile is a needle-punched fabric. Made of 100% polypropylene fibres which are formed into a random network for dimensional stability.

While non-woven geotextile is created with a random network of fibres, woven geotextiles are manufactured in a grid format. Non-woven geotextiles represent approximately 90% of geotextile purchases made by our clients at Ontario Agra. 

Non-woven geotextiles are most frequently used for subsurface drainage, soil separation, filtration, and erosion & sediment control. Commonly applied on roadways, railways, and landscaping projects.

Geotextiles restrict soil particles while allowing liquid and gases to easily pass through. This provides the perfect functionality for a wide range of applications and needs.

Yes, landscape fabric (geotextiles) should be used under gravel for a multitude of reasons. Some of the core reasons would include:

  • Reducing the amount of gravel required for your project.
  • Acting as a barrier to prevent your aggregate from migrating into the soil over time. 
  • Creating a weed barrier.
  • Acts as a drainage filter under your gravel. 

The terms ‘geotextile’ and ‘landscape fabric’ can be used nearly interchangeably. Though both terms are technically correct, landscape fabric often refers to work in the yard or garden while geotextile would include uses in drainage and construction projects as well as landscaping.

Gabion Baskets

Gabion Stone is the ideal material to use when filling Gabion Baskets. Gabion Stone is generally 100mm-200mm angular quarry stone. Other common options could include old or broken bricks, pavers, or concrete. 

Gabions are rectangular wire mesh baskets filled with rock at the project site to form flexible, permeable, monolithic structures such as retaining walls for commercial, industrial, landscape and road projects. They are ideal for any situation where a retaining structure is required which is also aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.

  • Uniform wire coating for extra durability.
  • Flexible & permeable structure.
  • Tolerates differential settlement.
  • Easy to install.
  • No special labour is required for installation.

For major projects, we recommend consulting with an engineer before constructing or anchoring your Gabion Baskets. For residential use, there are great resources available online to help walk you through the steps below. 

  1. Layout your site using a string line or long straight edge.
  2. Create a level base by removing grass and topsoil until firm soil is found. This soil will need to hold the significant weight of the Gabion Basket without slumping or sinking over time. 
  3. Internal supports are required to hold the Gabion Basketing in place and maintain structural integrity. Bury the support at least 3’-4’ deep in mixed concrete. Check local codes prior to support installation.
  4. Assemble the Gabion Baskets with the supports from step three going through the center of the basket. 
  5. Fill the Gabion Baskets using larger stones on the exterior to prevent any material from spilling out of the basket. 
  6. Gabion baskets can be stacked by repeating steps four and five. 

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Silt Sock

Silt Sock is a polypropylene mesh sock. It is a low maintenance, reusable, environmentally friendly product used for erosion control on job sites. Filled socks may be used as an alternative to silt fences in many areas. The sock has a lower profile making your project more aesthetically pleasing & easier to access.

Silt Sock is filled with wood chips ranging in size from ¼” and 2”.

The use of Silt Sock applies to areas of high sheet erosion, on steep slopes up to and exceeding a 2:1 slope. Primarily in disturbed areas of construction sites requiring sediment control. Silt Sock may also be used in sensitive environmental areas, where the migration of aquatic life is impeded by the use of other sediment controls.

Poly Septic Tank

With proper installation, environment, and maintenance Poly Septic Tanks can last more than 30 years.

Concrete Septic Tanks do have a longer known life span of roughly 40 years.

Poly Septic Tanks should be emptied at least once every 3-5 years. This is a great way to maintain the health of your septic system while ensuring your tank doesn’t overflow. Overflowing or leaking can cause environmental damage and pollution. 

There are five easy indications that your septic tank is reaching capacity. 

  1. If your drains or toilet are slow to empty when used.
  2. You’ll start to notice bad odours in your drains, toilets, or around your yard. As the tank fills, the space for gases inside your septic tank is reduced, causing a sewage smell. 
  3. Your yard above the septic tank will be more vibrant and lush than other areas on your property. Excess waste can create fertilizer for your lawn but can become unsafe and hazardous quite quickly.
  4. Mucky or standing water on your property, specifically near your septic tank. This indicates that the septic tank is overwhelmed and may be approaching a sewage backup.
  5. Finally, the worst-case scenario is a sewage backup into your home. As expected, this can create an emergency situation and costly repairs to your home and septic system. 

Poly Cistern Tank

The best material for water tanks is polyethylene. These tanks are resistant to corrosion and rust, which is advantageous when compared to concrete for metal cisterns.

Cisterns have a few significant advantages when compared to digging a well. They drastically reduce environmental impact, since they can be used above ground rather than requiring drilling hundreds of feet into the earth. Cisterns allow you to import water to your site, rather than relying on locating natural water on your property. These days, cisterns can be a reliable way to bring the convenience of the city to the country. 

There are some traditional methods available of measuring the water level of a cistern tank, however, they tend to be much less accurate that modern technological options. The stick method consists of dipping a long stick or pole into your tank to see how deep the water level is. Others simply guess based on time and familiarity with their usage. 

 

Our recommendation would be the PTLevel which can accurately measure your water level and be tracked on your phone. This allows to you access real-time measurements, and order the exact quantity of water you need.

Low Profile Septic Tank

Without a leach field, you may be required to empty your tank much more frequently, sometimes as often as once a month. The leach field is designed to safely disperse wastewater on an ongoing basis.

There are five easy indications that your septic tank is reaching capacity. 

  1. If your drains or toilet are slow to empty when used.
  2. You’ll start to notice bad odours in your drains, toilets, or around your yard. As the tank fills, the space for gases inside your septic tank is reduced, causing a sewage smell. 
  3. Your yard above the septic tank will be more vibrant and lush than other areas on your property. Excess waste can create fertilizer for your lawn but can become unsafe and hazardous quite quickly.
  4. Mucky or standing water on your property, specifically near your septic tank. This indicates that the septic tank is overwhelmed and may be approaching a sewage backup.
  5. Finally, the worst-case scenario is a sewage backup into your home. As expected, this can create an emergency situation and costly repairs to your home and septic system. 

Concrete Septic Tank

Concrete septic tanks have a life span of roughly 40 years.

Both Concrete and Poly Septic Tanks have advantages and disadvantages. Below you’ll find some of the comparisons that can help make the best decision for your needs. 

 

Durability: Concrete Septic Tanks tend to be much more durable than Poly Septic Tanks. This is specifically in regards to the weight that they can handle on top of them.

Lifespan: Assuming that you’ll care for both tanks properly, you can expect a lifespan of approximately 40 years for concrete, and 30 years for poly. 

Environmental Resistance: Concrete Septic Tanks are less susceptible to changing soil conditions, growing tree routes, compaction, or other factors.

Maintenance: Based on the factors above, Concrete Septic Tanks can require less ongoing maintenance than Poly Septic Tanks.

Cost: Concrete Septic Tanks cost more to purchase and install than Poly Septic Tanks.

Installation: Concrete is heavier and less maneuverable than plastic which leads to longer installation using heavy machinery.

Corrosion: Unlike Poly Septic Tanks, concrete tanks may corrode over time or begin cracking with age. Proper maintenance can help reduce the risk of these issues.

Concrete Septic Tanks should be emptied at least once every 3-5 years. This is a great way to maintain the health of your septic system while ensuring your tank doesn’t overflow. Overflowing or leaking can cause environmental damage and pollution.

There are five easy indications that your septic tank is reaching capacity. 

  1. If your drains or toilet are slow to empty when used.
  2. You’ll start to notice bad odours in your drains, toilets, or around your yard. As the tank fills, the space for gases inside your septic tank is reduced, causing a sewage smell. 
  3. Your yard above the septic tank will be more vibrant and lush than other areas on your property. Excess waste can create fertilizer for your lawn but can become unsafe and hazardous quite quickly.
  4. Mucky or standing water on your property, specifically near your septic tank. This indicates that the septic tank is overwhelmed and may be approaching a sewage backup.
  5. Finally, the worst-case scenario is a sewage backup into your home. As expected, this can create an emergency situation and costly repairs to your home and septic system. 

We would always recommend connecting with a local professional to have an accurate assessment of your septic system needs. If you’re looking for some introductory information, we’ve got a great blog on How to size your septic tank.

Concrete Cistern Tank

Concrete Cistern Tanks have a life expectancy of 20-30 years when properly maintained.

Cisterns have a few significant advantages when compared to digging a well. They drastically reduce environmental impact, since they can be used above ground rather than requiring drilling hundreds of feet into the earth. Cisterns allow you to import water to your site, rather than relying on locating natural water on your property. These days, cisterns can be a reliable way to bring the convenience of the city to the country. 

Durability: Concrete Septic Tanks tend to be much more durable than Poly Septic Tanks. This is specifically in regards to the weight that they can handle on top of them.

Lifespan: Assuming that you’ll care for both tanks properly, you can expect a lifespan of approximately 40 years for concrete, and 30 years for poly. 

Environmental Resistance: Concrete Septic Tanks are less susceptible to changing soil conditions, growing tree routes, compaction, or other factors.

Maintenance: Based on the factors above, Concrete Septic Tanks can require less ongoing maintenance than Poly Septic Tanks.

Cost: Concrete Septic Tanks cost more to purchase and install than Poly Septic Tanks.

Installation: Concrete is heavier and less maneuverable than plastic which leads to longer installation using heavy machinery.

Corrosion: Unlike Poly Septic Tanks, concrete tanks may corrode over time or begin cracking with age. Proper maintenance can help reduce the risk of these issues.

There are many factors to consider when determining how long your cistern water will last, and what sized cistern tank is best for your needs. If used efficiently, the average person will consume approximately 30 gallons daily. Using this math, an efficient family of four will use an average of 120 gallons of water daily, or 3600 gallons monthly. 

There are some traditional methods available of measuring the water level of a cistern tank, however, they tend to be much less accurate that modern technological options. The stick method consists of dipping a long stick or pole into your tank to see how deep the water level is. Others simply guess based on time and familiarity with their usage. 

 

Our recommendation would be the PTLevel which can accurately measure your water level and be tracked on your phone. This allows to you access real-time measurements, and order the exact quantity of water you need. 

Cistern Lasers/Levels

There are some traditional methods available of measuring the water level of a cistern tank, however, they tend to be much less accurate that modern technological options. The stick method consists of dipping a long stick or pole into your tank to see how deep the water level is. Others simply guess based on time and familiarity with their usage. 

 

Our recommendation would be the PTLevel which can accurately measure your water level and be tracked on your phone. This allows to you access real-time measurements, and order the exact quantity of water you need. To further understand the origin and benefits of the PTLevel see our blog where we interviewed owner Mike VanMaaren.

Without a cistern level, accurately calculating the amount of water you need to order can be nearly impossible. Understanding your tank size and order history can help, but it won’t be perfect. There are huge cost savings available by avoiding ordering incorrect amounts of water and paying for unnecessary deliveries. The PTLevel will solve this problem.

Subdrain/ Weeping Tile

The terms ‘French Drain’ ‘Subdrain’ and ‘Weeping Tile’ are synonymous for one another. They are used to collect subsurface water and channel it to the proper outlet pipe.

Weeping tile should have an expected lifespan of at least 20 years. Inspecting the weeping tile every 5 years is a great way to maximize the service life.

Perforated drain pipe works by channelling away excess underground moisture by collecting water through the small holes located around the pipe. 

A subdrain is a drainage pipe that is used to collect and move excess water. Subdrains are commonly used on farms, golf courses, parks and playing fields. Homeowners find that the single wall HDPE corrugated pipe is an economical, easy–to–install solution to common residential drainage problems. These may include downspouts runoff, foundation and window well drains, driveway culverts and wet spots on the lawn.

Armour Stone

Armour stone is a natural quarry stone. Armour stone is used because it is durable and resistant to wear and erosion.

Most armour stone retaining walls are between three and four feet tall. If your retaining wall will be more than four feet it is critical that it includes internal structural support.

  1. Determine the length, width, and height of the armour stone wall being built. This will be necessary to accurately calculate the number of stones required for your project. 
  2. Create a level trench that allows for geosynthetics and screening to be placed underneath your armour stone.
  3. Lay your chosen geosynthetic. Our recommendation is non-woven geotextile (link to product). This will help keep weeds from growing under your armour stone and keep your trench level over time.
  4. Stamp down at least 2” of screening on top of your geosynthetic. 
  5. Stack the armour stone, offsetting them slightly behind the one beneath.

Gabion Stone

Gabion stone is crushed limestone used as the fill material for gabion baskets. These baskets are one of the methods used in ground stabilization, retaining walls, or other landscaped areas.

A typical gabion wall will have an average lifespan of 50-100 years. Road salt can lead to faster degradation and rusting of the gabion basket. 

Check our blog showcasing unique and stylish ways to use gabion stone in your landscaping projects. 

Screening

Gravel and limestone screening is permeable and porous which is great for drainage purposes. It’s most commonly used in gardens, pathways, and under patio stones.

Tamping limestone screening is a critical step when laying pavers or patio stones. By tamping your screening, you help to increase ground stability underneath your pavers. By tamping your screening you can ensure that the completed project remains level over time and does not sink into the screening. 

Screening is the ideal aggregate to use under pavers. When paired with a geotextile it will increase the stability and lifespan of your project while reducing maintenance. We also recommend 3/8″ HPB Chip Stone.

The durability and sand-like particle size of stone screening creates an effective levelling agent for interlocking brick and patio slabs or to fill cracks between flat stones and slabs.

¾" Clear Stone

Some of the most popular uses of ¾” clear are for drainage backfill, concrete, cement, asphalt and other drainage options.

Driveway stone should be between ¼” to ¾”. We recommend our ¾” crushed stone for this purpose. 

To calculate the expected amount of ¾” stone you need for your project, multiply the length, width and depth in feet and divide by 27. This number is how many cubic yards of crushed stone you need. There are plenty of calculators  available online that can complete this math for you. 

 

The ideal depth will vary depending on the project you’re completing. For most projects, 2” – 4” would be a normal recommended depth.

¾" Crushed Stone

Driveway stone should be between ¼” to ¾”. We recommend crushed stone for this purpose.

The recommended thickness will vary depending on the job you’re working on. Generally speaking, aim for approximately 4″ of depth for a base filler, 3” – 4″ for a sub base and 2” – 3″ for surfacing work.

One cubic yard of crush and run gravel can weigh between 2,400 to 2,900 lbs.

Crushed stone is ideal when used as a top layer for gravel driveways. This is because the limestone is porous and permeable which will help the driveway last longer. Crush and run gravel driveways are cost-efficient and can last for years when properly maintained.

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Triple Mix Garden Blend

Triple mix garden blend includes topsoil, peat moss, and compost. The peat moss helps to lock in moisture, and the compost feeds the soil for increased plant growth. This combination creates the ideal soil blend for gardens.

The compost and peat moss combination creates a winning combination for vegetable growth. The peat moss helps to lock in moisture, and the compost feeds the soil for increased plant growth and nutrients. This is a natural way to feed your crops throughout the year without relying on artificial fertilizer.

The differences between our soils is summarized by the ratios of soil, sand, and compost.

  • Triple Mix Garden Blend is approximately 80% compost blended with 20% sandy loam. 
  • Lawn Blend is approximately 50% compost blended with 50% sandy loam. 
  • Premium Screened Soil is the same as our Triple Mix, but is put through a second round of screening to produce a finer end product.

Premium Screened soil

Double Screened Garden Blend is an excellent additive for existing flower gardens and /or vegetable gardens due to its high nutrient content. It’s a great way to start off a brand new garden or bed due to its beautiful consistency.

The differences between our soils is summarized by the ratios of soil, sand, and compost.

  • Triple Mix Garden Blend is approximately 80% compost blended with 20% sandy loam. 
  • Lawn Blend is approximately 50% compost blended with 50% sandy loam. 
  • Premium Screened Soil is the same as our Triple Mix, but is put through a second round of screening to produce a finer end product.

Lawn Blend Soil

Lawn Blend is perfect for filling low spots in your yard; preparation for seeding and laying sod; and a great way to get a new lawn off to a new start. Loamy soil is known as being the best option for lawns because it holds moisture and drains well.

While our lawn blend soil can be used for gardens, we would generally recommend a soil with a higher compost percentage when possible, such as our triple mix

Topsoil tends to contain finer particles when compared to lawn soil. Typically, our recommendation would be to use lawn soil to bulk up your yard prior to laying sod or seed. Topsoil is generally used on top of your existing lawn as a way of filtering nutrients into your yard.

The differences between our soils is summarized by the ratios of soil, sand, and compost.

  • Triple Mix Garden Blend is approximately 80% compost blended with 20% sandy loam. 
  • Lawn Blend is approximately 50% compost blended with 50% sandy loam. 
  • Premium Screened Soil is the same as our Triple Mix, but is put through a second round of screening to produce a finer end product.

Liquid Storage Tanks

Polyethylene tanks are resistant to corrosion and rust, safe when exposed to the sun, and don’t leach into the liquid they are storing. 

With tanks ranging from 10 through 15,000 gallons, it can be hard to decide what size is best for you. Firstly, determine what you plan to use it for. Some of the primary uses are water storage, liquid fertilizer, agricultural uses, or household use. From there, understand how much you consume that product, and how often you’re comfortable having your tank filled. We’d recommend asking our team for advice based on our past experiences. 

Storage tanks should be cleaned and disinfected in the spring and fall. Cleaning is done to remove algae, sediment, and harmful bacteria. If you notice that your water develops an unusual smell, taste, or appearance it may be time to clean. The frequency will vary depending on the water condition and environmental factors. Your local water delivery company may offer a cleaning service at the time of your refill. 

If used efficiently, the average person will consume approximately 30 gallons daily. Using this math, an efficient family of four will use an average of 120 gallons of water daily, or 3600 gallons monthly. 

Topcon Lasers

Topcon lasers feature electronic self-levelling. Simply press the power button and get to work. If disturbed on moved, they will automatically relevel themselves. *Check individual product specs and brochures prior to purchase.

Topcon lasers are described as ‘job site tough’, with the ability to withstand dust and even torrential rainfall. *Check individual product specs and brochures prior to purchase.

Topcon lasers are not intended for measuring distances, but can accurately level at a distance of up to 800m.

Unlike many lasers, all Topcon rotating laser models include calibration instructions in the instruction manual. Instructions will vary for each laser.