Soil analysis

We offer a fully comprehensive service covering all commonly requested soil contaminants. Our analysis includes asbestos, contaminated land, and geotechnical and civil engineering. We hold MCERTS (the Environment Agency’s standard for the chemical analysis of soil), ISO 17025 and UKAS accreditations for our different types of analysis, providing a greater level of data confidence. Our wealth of experience in this area allows us to deliver an unsurpassed level of service to our customers.

We are a leading laboratory for asbestos analysis with a large in-house dedicated asbestos capability. Our UKAS accredited services include:

  • Identification of asbestos in bulk materials and soils using stereo and polarised light microscopy (PLM).
  • The quantification of asbestos in soils, loose aggregates and ballas.
  • The water absorption test to determine whether an asbestos containing material (ACM) is licensable.

Our analysis

We follow three stages in our analysis:

  • Stage 1 - Identification using PLM
  • Stage 2 – Quantification of asbestos in soil
  • Stage 3 – Respirable Fibre content of soil

We provide suitable sample containers for clients to take their own samples. Courier service is also available.

Contaminated land

Testing is performed on soils, groundwater, surface water, leachates and landfill gases. We offer a full range of chemical analysis which can be tailored to meet your needs. Samples are given a description in compliance with MCERTS, mixed, then subsampled. Most analyses are performed on the wet, as received soil, but where possible, samples are dried at less than 30°C, then crushed and reported on a dry weight basis.

Larger bulk samples, such as railway ballast or gravel, can also be analysed upon request.

Common testing parameters

  • Toxic metals including CLEA metals (contaminated land exposure assessment)–Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, Fe, Al, Be, As, B, etc.
  • Major cations– Na, K, Ca, Mg
  • Inorganics/physical – pH, EC, calorific value
  • Anions (water soluble) – Cl, NO3, NO2, SO4, PO4
  • Cyanides – total, complex, free and thiocyanate
  • Phenols
  • Sulphur compounds – total sulphur, sulphide and sulphate
  • Asbestos – screening, identification, quantification and water absorption
  • TOC – total organic carbon and loss on ignition
  • VOCs – volatile organic compounds
  • SVOCs – semi-volatile organic compounds
  • TPH – GRO, EPH, speciated TPH and BTEX
  • PAHs – polyaromatic hydrocarbons
  • PCBs – polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Pesticides & herbicides – chlorinated, phosphorylated and triazines

We provide suitable sample containers for clients to take their own samples. Courier service is also available.

Geotechnical and civil engineering
We carry out a comprehensive range of chemical tests for geotechnical and civil engineering purposes to complement the contaminated land testing. This range of tests conforms to several industry standards and guidance documents, including BS 1377:1990 Part 3, BS 1744, BRE SD1 and TRL 447. Many of these tests are accredited to ISO 17025, and can be performed on soils, waters, concrete and aggregates.

Common requested parameters

  • Natural moisture content
  • Moisture content to 105°C
  • Stone content
  • pH value
  • Total sulphate as SO4 or SO3
  • Total sulphur
  • Total potential sulphate
  • Oxidisable sulphide
  • Water-soluble sulphate as SO4 or SO3
  • Chloride – acid-soluble or water-soluble
  • Nitrate – water soluble
  • Ammoniacal nitrogen – water soluble
  • Total organic matter
  • LOI – loss on ignition
  • Aggressive carbon dioxide
  • Carbonate content
  • Mortar analysis, including cement content, to BS 4551
  • Concrete analysis, including cement content, to BS 1881

We provide suitable sample containers for clients to take their samples. Courier service is also available.