Soil contamination testing lab
Soil contamination testing lab
We are an ISO 17025 accredited lab, meaning that we comply with the international standards laid down for soil laboratory analysis, giving you complete confidence in our results. More information can be found here:
The Environment Agency has established its Monitoring Certification Scheme: MCERTS to ensure high quality environmental measurements. The scheme provides for the product certification of instruments, the competency certification of personnel and the accreditation of laboratories based on international standards.
UKAS is the national accreditation body recognised by the British government. Our laboratories have UKAS accreditation for many of the tests we provide which gives confidence to customers on the quality and competence of the services we offer within our laboratories.
Asbestos testing lab
Our asbestos analysts are all qualified to BOHS P401 with designated staff qualified to BOHS P402 and BOHS P403. After 15 years of providing these specialist services to environmental consultants, geotechnical consultants, local authorities and the building industry, you can be confident of their expertise.
We provide expert services to industry standard methods, including ‘Polarised Light Microscopy’ in our soil testing lab to determine the type of asbestos (and therefore the risk) in varying soils, aggregates and bulk materials.
Asbestos testing service
Our asbestos testing service has been established for over 15 years, providing an asbestos analysis service to local Government, environmental consultants and landowners. We can safely transport your samples from your site to our laboratory and then we can accurately determine the amount and type of asbestos in soil, in bulk building materials, asbestos in aggregates – even asbestos in track ballast.
Our reports will include a confirmation of asbestos presence and quantities, types of asbestos present and the quantities of respirable asbestos fibres.
There are three stages that will be reported on:
Stage 1: Identification – presence/absence of asbestos fibres using Polarised Light Microscopy as per HSG248
Stage 2: Quantification – detailed gravimetric, using Polarised Light Microscopy
Stage 3: Quantification - fibre dispersion, measurement and counting, using Polarised Light Microscopy and Phase Contrast Microscopy
Respirable fibres – mass of asbestos fibres in range 1-5 microns.
We are fully certified and accredited, our asbestos reports are authoritative and comprehensive. When dealing with a potentially dangerous substance like asbestos, it makes sense to use a well-establish asbestos testing service like those operated by SUEZ.
Polarised Light Microscopy
Polarised Light Microscopy is the main technique used in our asbestos lab to identify the type of asbestos. It is very important to get this right, as the type of asbestos determines how dangerous it is.
It works by the crystal lattice associated with silicate minerals such as asbestos interacting with the light rays of the microscope, allowing us to identify the presence and type of asbestos in the sample.
We also use PCM – Phase Contrast Microscopy – for fibre counting and phase 3 gravimetry.
Contaminated land analysis
Soil contamination testing often reveals heavy metals, hydrocarbons and PAHs. We do the following chemical analysis of soil samples:
- CLEA metals (contaminated land exposure assessment): These include Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn, Fe, Al, Be, As, B.
- Sulphates in soil: Sulphur compounds including total sulphur, sulphide and sulphate
- Cations in soil: Na, K, Ca, Mg
- Water soluble anions: Cl, NO3, NO2, SO4, PO4
- Cyanides, phenols, and TOC (Total Organic Carbon)
- VOCs and SVOCs
- TPH: GRO, EPH, speciated TPH and BTEX
- PAHs and PCBs
- Pesticides and herbicides
We can also determine pH, EC and calorific value.
As part of a land contamination assessment, many clients also opt for a groundwater contamination analysis if they feel there is a chance that the contamination has reached the waterways.
This will test whether contamination has led to nearby waterways, as many compounds like solvents and heavy metals can contaminate drinking water and be dangerous to human and marine life.
Surface water contamination
Surface water contamination can be a major issue on some sites and it’s essential to do a thorough analysis of any water and its margins to check for pollution, and in particular heavy metals and hydrocarbons. Our testing suites can provide the data required for hazardous/non-hazardous classification required for disposal.
Leachate contamination can be a major issue, especially in landfill sites. We are highly experienced in handling landfill leachate samples, critical for analytes such as NH4. These can often be at elevated contamination levels and we are well equipped to deal with these samples safely.
Laboratory testing - Geotechnical engineering
Soil testing for construction
Our soil testing for construction covers a wide range of detectable contaminants:
- Natural moisture content / moisture content to 105°C
- Stone content
- pH value
- Total sulphate or water-soluble sulphate as SO4 or SO3, total sulphur, total potential sulphate, oxidisable sulphide
- Chloride: acid-soluble / water-soluble
- Nitrate: water soluble; Ammoniacal nitrogen: water soluble
- Total organic matter
- Loss On Ignition (LOI)
- Aggressive carbon dioxide
- Carbonate content
We can perform concrete testing on all types and ages of concrete and mortars to BS 14551 and BS 1881, respectively. Concrete tests include:
- The integrity of the concrete
- Concrete in aggressive ground (according to BRE SD1)
- Acid soluble chloride content of soil and concrete
- Cement content of concrete and mortar (BS 1881 & BS 4551)
- Rapid chemical test for detecting high alumina cement concrete
- Methods for analysis of hardened concrete (BS 1881: Part 124: 1988)