Soil Survey of Bristol County, Massachusetts


The following Map Unit Description is from the 1981 Soil Survey of Bristol County, Southern Part. Please note: map unit symbols are DIFFERENT for Bristol South and Bristol North reports, do NOT use these descriptions for Bristol North.

WcA-Wareham loamy sand, 0 to 3 percent slopes. This soil is nearly level, deep, and poorly drained and somewhat poorly drained. It is in depressions. Areas of this soil are irregular in shape and range from 5 to 40 acres. Most are 10 acres.

Typically, the surface layer is very dark gray loamy sand about 9 inches thick. The subsoil is light olive brown, mottled loamy sand 6 inches thick. The substratum is grayish brown, mottled sand to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Deerfield, Scarboro,- and Pipestone soils. Some areas have a surface layer of fine sandy loam. Included areas make up about 20 percent of the unit.

The permeability of this Wareham soil is rapid, and available water capacity is low. The rooting zone of plants is restricted by a seasonal high water table that is at or near the surface in winter and spring.

Most areas of this soil are in woodland, and some areas are used for farming.

Areas of this soil that have been adequately drained are suited to row crops. Surface drainage, open ditches, tile drains, or a combination of the three helps to remove excess water from the soil. The soil is droughty in some summers. Minimum tillage, using cover crops, and mixing crop residue and manure into the soil help to maintain and improve tilth and the organic matter content.

This soil is suited to hay and pasture, especially to water-tolerant plants. Drainage is generally needed. The main management concern is the prevention of both overgrazing and grazing when the soil is wet, which reduce the hardiness and density of plants.

The seasonal high water table makes the soil poorly suited to trees. It causes a high rate of seedling mortality and restricts the rooting depth, making trees susceptible to uprooting during windy periods. Planting water-tolerant species helps to reduce the rate of seedling mortality, and establishing dense stands of trees reduces the hazard of uprooting. The wetness of the soil limits the use of timber harvesting equipment.

The seasonal high water table is the main limitation of the soil for community development, especially as a building site or as a site for sanitary landfills or septic tank absorption fields. The rapid permeability in the substratum causes a hazard of ground-water pollution in areas used for septic tanks or landfills.

Capability subclass: IVw.

More info on Wareham Soils

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