Living near a Quarry

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
bagelhead
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:20 am

Living near a Quarry

Post by bagelhead » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:29 pm

Do the Bogleheads have any thoughts on living near a Quarry?

Air pollution? Noise? "Safer" distance?

123
Posts: 3811
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by 123 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:46 pm

Air pollution, dust, road noise. Likely large trucks in nearby traffic. It may make a difference what type of minerals the quarry digs.

Is the quarry going to stay around forever or is it going to sell out to development? I know one quarry where they removed a small mountain over 100 years and now there's no trace of what happened there, the land is pretty now much flat and will likely become an industrial park. Another area I grew up near had an abandoned quarry on the side of some hills. With a little work the strange topography of that abandoned quarry got turned into a beautiful golf course. But within a couple of miles there was another quarry that got used as a toxic waste dump in the 1950's, it later became a Superfund clean-up site because it polluted nearby water supplies. The darnedest things get put in the convenient holes that quarries leave behind.

You may want to check to see if there are other nearby quarries that are closed or operating and see if they have issues. Rock worth quarrying may extend over a broad area so different companies may have had operations.

Is your home site on reclaimed quarry land?
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

tim1999
Posts: 3501
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by tim1999 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:52 pm

Not far from me, an investment group quietly bought up about 800 acres of farm and woodland, then sought zoning approval to open a quarry. The quarry was going to be in the middle 200 acres with the rest as buffer land. The citizens formed an opposing organization, raised funds, and dragged it out in court for probably 10 years. I never really understood what their legitimate concern was besides increased truck traffic and general NIMBY-ism as it was a quiet rural area that fought so much as a 10-lot residential subdivision tooth and nail.

Wellfleet
Posts: 484
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:18 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Wellfleet » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:26 pm

I heard great advice awhile ago, while you might not care to live near a quarry, railroad tracks, Main Street, etc. you are limiting the pool of potential buyers and really need to think like a capitalist when buying, unless you don't care about the sale.

But yes, generally mining is a dirty business with noise, air pollution, trucks, etc. Not really a growing industry but dirty nonetheless.

whomever
Posts: 782
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by whomever » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:51 pm

I went to a zoning hearing once, and one of the permits being discussed was for a quarry (maybe an expansion, I forget). Anyway, people that were at least several hundred yards away had pictures of large rocks that had landed on their cars. It wasn't an everyday occurrence, but over the course of a few years several people had had softball to bowling ball size rocks land quite a ways from the quarry.

That's a sample size of one; I dunno if that's true of other quarries.

There were other complaints - truck noise, blasting noise, dust, and so on, but that one stood out.

summit
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:29 am
Location: Out West

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by summit » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:00 pm

I used to work on the fifth floor of an office building that was near a quarry. There was some kind of agreement that they would only blast at a certain time. Every day at 4 pm it felt like we were experiencing a small earthquake. I imagine the feeling would have been even more pronounced in a home than a large office building.

3feetpete
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:30 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by 3feetpete » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:03 pm

I would steer clear of it. If you are asking questions about it so will future potential buyers. Plus you never know what will happen in the future if it is re-zoned.

If you are still considering it you should know that some quarries aren't as bad as others. A hard rock quarry will mine the rock by blasting and you can hear the blast for a long distance maybe a mile. Feel it for several thousands of feet. You can tell if it is a hard rock quarry by looking at it. If it has vertical rock faces, those faces were created by blasting.

Sand and gravel quarries typically do not employ blasting. Rather they dig from an natural bank of sand and gravel and then process it by screening and washing. These quarries will still cause traffic and noise but not nearly as much as a hard rock quarry.

User avatar
sergeant
Posts: 933
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:13 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by sergeant » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:09 pm

My house backs up to a sand and rock quarry. We love it for the most part. There is no blasting only digging. Sometimes you can hear the operation. They used to have hundreds of truck trips daily but about a decade ago built a conveyor belt that moves their product over a mile away to another quarry. We like not having homes/people/barking dogs behind us. We have had wildlife such as bear, coyote, bobcats, etc. walk the dirt road behind us and come over for a visit but they leave when we shout at them.
Lincoln 3 EOW!

bagelhead
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by bagelhead » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:20 pm

What about the health risks from breathing in the dust? Any insights besides Google's initial hits?

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 48547
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:18 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).

bagelhead - Can you please provide some insight on why you are asking about this? Are you considering to live near a quarry yourself?
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

bagelhead
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by bagelhead » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:59 pm

LadyGeek wrote:This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).

bagelhead - Can you please provide some insight on why you are asking about this? Are you considering to live near a quarry yourself?
Possibly. I would like to better understand why this is a complete deal breaker for some people, mere inconvenience for others, and a non-issue for a few.

Elemental
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:08 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Elemental » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:46 pm

The valley in which I live has quarries on all sides of it. They are ugly for sure, but we're used to it around here. They are slowly removing a mountain at one end. We get fairly significant dust storms (nothing like Tatooine, but major dust with low visibility) and muddy rain at times. I expect the wind and weather patterns to change along with the view as the mountain is removed. Gravel trucks are frequent on the highways, and they consistently drop rocks along the way. I would be concerned if I lived right next to it, as the quarries seem to dig right up to where the houses are developed leaving a steep cliff just yards away from the houses. I don't know how it can be geologically sound.

User avatar
sdsailing
Posts: 525
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:42 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by sdsailing » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:52 pm

Surely it depends heavily on the type of material being mined quarry, the relation to the truck traffic, etc, of the house.

mw1739
Posts: 511
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:44 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by mw1739 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:54 pm

I live near a quarry, I believe it is used for gravel. They blast about 1x a week and have a notification service you can subscribe to. Other than seeing a few trucks a day, I hardly notice it is there. The blasting goes on while I'm at work - my wife hardly notices it when she's home.

I must not be alone in thinking it's no big deal. The homes within a "stones throw" of the quarry are $500,000-$3-4 million and I live in the Midwest, where a $1 million house actually looks like a million bucks.

User avatar
mrc
Posts: 1218
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 6:39 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by mrc » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:59 pm

I drive by a quarry during my commute to work. It's dusty as heck around there. The trees are all grey from dust. The roads going to the entrance are torn up (one lane out in both directions) from the full dump trucks. There is a "Truckers: Don't use your Jake Brakes" around here sign. And a shooting range is across the road. I wouldn't consider moving near there at all.
If it’s not long term it’s small talk

likegarden
Posts: 2698
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by likegarden » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:11 pm

Perhaps people should ask a realtor, if the house you are looking at was built on a dump which was a quarry before. One man told us once when we lived north of Boston that he knows that a certain new house was sitting on his old truck which was used as fill in a quarry.

User avatar
Elsebet
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:28 pm
Location: Washington state

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Elsebet » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:42 pm

We live up the street from a quarry, just east of Seattle. Other than the noise from the trucks it doesn't personally bother me on a daily basis. It seems to only run in the drier months. There is a conservation group trying to limit/shut down its operations.

I do worry about the impacts of blasting might have on the local aquifer since we have a well.

blueberry
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2015 11:37 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by blueberry » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:49 pm

If you have to ask you know the answer at least as far as resale/investment value. It's a questionable investment.

J295
Posts: 1677
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by J295 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:38 pm

Fred Flintstone worked at a quarry and seemed to tolerate it well. Happy Thanksgiving. :happy

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 8004
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:58 pm

In response to your quarry query, I can't think of any upsides to it.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Sherlock
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Sherlock » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:07 pm

Id say the OP is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Herekittykitty
Posts: 575
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:11 pm
Location: Flyover Country

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Herekittykitty » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:13 am

bagelhead wrote: ....I would like to better understand why this is a complete deal breaker for some people, mere inconvenience for others, and a non-issue for a few.
You are considering purchasing a home in a location that you are saying is:

A complete deal breaker for some people.
.....Inconvenience for others.
Non-issue for a few.

As the old saying in real estate goes, the three most important things a property should have: location, location, and location.

Caveat: I'm not a real estate agent. Just an ordinary person who wouldn't buy a house in a location that was a complete deal breaker for some people and an inconvenience for others, even if for a few the location was a non-issue. Even if I were willing to risk the air quality and noise level near an active or potentially active quarry - which I'm not.
I don't know anything.

dbr
Posts: 27207
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by dbr » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:20 am

I owned a small quarry once. It was part of a couple hundred acres we lived on. Of course, we weren't actually operating it and it was kind of an interesting place.

As far as being near one, I guess that would be a judgement based on distance, scale of operations, etc. I would want to avoid it myself. There are worse things, such as a hog farm or a major international airport.

User avatar
ClevrChico
Posts: 1292
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by ClevrChico » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:28 am

I drive near a gravel quarry every day.

Suburban houses have taken up every free piece of land around the quarry which is about 1/4 mile away. I only notice occasional dust, no noise, and big truck traffic doesn't seem out of the ordinary. In this case it seems fine.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 14343
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:31 pm

One issue with any negative feature for a house is that it might be somewhat acceptable when the local housing market is booming (no pun intended :D ) but if you have to sell it in a bad housing market then it could be very difficult to sell without drastically reducing the price.

The problem is that when there is a glut of houses for sale there will always be people that have to sell for reasons like death, divorce, job lose,health problems, money problems, moving to a nursing home, etc.even if they have to sell at a low price. In a bad housing market there will likely be distressed houses like that for sale a few miles away where the quarry is not an issue that are already priced for a distressed sale. To sell the house near the quarry you would need to discount your house even more to sell it.

In a normal or strong housing market the other distressed houses for sale will sell quickly so that they will not have to be discounted much to sell in a reasonable amount of time so this is less of an issue in better market.
Last edited by Watty on Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TRC
Posts: 1893
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:38 pm

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by TRC » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:35 pm

Depends how close you're talking. We live near a quarry - probably about 1 mile as the crow flies. The only negative I would say is the occasional blast that sounds like some thunder in the distance. Doesn't bother us one bit. If you drive on the main road down near the quarry, there is dust on the road where the trucks pull in & out. It was a minor con for us that didn't outweigh all the major pros for our home selection.

randomguy
Posts: 6481
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Living near a Quarry

Post by randomguy » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:29 pm

TRC wrote:Depends how close you're talking. We live near a quarry - probably about 1 mile as the crow flies. The only negative I would say is the occasional blast that sounds like some thunder in the distance. Doesn't bother us one bit. If you drive on the main road down near the quarry, there is dust on the road where the trucks pull in & out. It was a minor con for us that didn't outweigh all the major pros for our home selection.
Yeah. The difference between say having to drive on the road with a zillion dump trucks carrying stuff out versus having the active part like 3 miles away and all the traffic on different roads is pretty huge.

Of course if I hadn't bought the house and had other options, I might prefer living somewhere else. But stuff happens everywhere. Some developer buys the 40 acres behind you and puts in 100 houses and your quiet road develops a traffic problem.

Post Reply