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Soil Sampling And Testing

Do you need to investigate the quality of soil on your property or a property of interest? Let Rubidium Environmental’s experts assist you with understanding the current environmental risks associated with the condition of the property.

What Is Soil Sampling And Testing?

Soil sampling and testing is a task that is generally conducted during a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), to help determine whether or not subsurface contamination exists on a particular property, or has the potential to migrate to neighbouring properties. Based on the soil conditions, and type of contamination expected, Rubidium’s environmental consultants will establish the strategic locations of the boreholes to be drilled. It is important to sample enough locations to determine the maximum vertical and horizontal depths of contaminants of concern that may be identified in soil on the subject site. Understanding the extent of the contamination is pivotal in developing an effective environmental site plan for the remediation of contaminated soils.

Additional soil sampling is conducted subsequent to the identification of soil impacts during the initial investigation. Additional soil samples are collected to delineate the previously identified impacted areas and to assist in identifying the vertical and horizontal limits of the subsurface contamination. A cost-effective action plan for the remediation of contaminated soils can be developed once the contamination plume (extents of the contaminated area) is defined.

The sampling of soil is conducted during a drilled borehole and/or test pit program, which can vary in size depending on the extent of the investigation required. Should an extensive investigation be required in order to delineate an impacted area and identify depths of contaminants, a significantly larger amount of boreholes would need to be drilled on the site.  Drilled boreholes are selected in strategic locations on the site. For industrial buildings, typically 3 to 8 boreholes are required, however, more might be required based on site specific criteria.

Rubidium understands the timeline restrictions encountered during financial transactions, and we have developed strong relationships with numerous environmental contractors and drilling firms whom are able to mobilize in a responsive manner to conduct your soil sampling and testing in the time frame that is required. Our team of engineers and scientists will provide you with expert environmental consulting and soil remediation services in the fraction of the time of our competitors. Obtaining knowledge about potential environmental liabilities during the early stages of a property acquisition and/or financing process allows you to decide if you want to continue pursuing the property of interest, or whether additional ESA inspections are required to further investigate the extent of contamination, and what soil and groundwater remediation options are available to clean-up the site, if required.

Why Is Soil Sampling And Testing Conducted?

Soil sampling and testing allows for the collection of soil samples and submission of the collected samples to an accredited laboratory for analysis of contaminants in order to determine the contaminant concentrations present within the soil at the site.

Soil sampling and testing is generally required for due diligence, financing, and property transaction purposes. Soil sampling and testing assists property owners and buyers, and financial lenders by helping them understand the potential environmental risks associated with a property. As the cost of performing soil and remediation services to contaminated land can be extensive, it is important that the property buyer be aware of potential environmental liabilities. Soil sampling and testing is also required during site redevelopment and remediation activities in order to confirm suitable quality and use of the soil being brought to a site from an off-site source and being used as backfill or regrading materials.

Depending on the nature of the site, and its past uses, there are a variety of analytical tests that are performed to test for suspected contamination. The following contaminants are commonly tested in soil samples:

  • Petroleum Hydrocarbons (PHCs) – commonly associated with the use of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, kerosene, lubricants, motor oils, etc.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – commonly associated with solvents, paints, degreasers, lubricants, oils, etc.
  • Heavy Metals – commonly associated with leaded fuels, fertilizers, industrial process waste, animal waste, coal residues, etc.
  • Inorganics – commonly associated with metals, roadway salt, fertilizers, etc.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) – commonly associated with coal residue, asphalt products, railway spurs, wood products, waste, etc.
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) – commonly associated with light ballasts, electric transformers and substations, construction materials, etc.
  • Pesticides – commonly associated with herbicides, fungicides, anti-fouling agents, etc.

What Are The Benefits Of Soil Sampling And Testing?

Benefits of soil sampling and testing include buyer beware, which provides the potential purchaser and/or current owner of the property with a complete understanding of the presence, type, extent, and location of impacted areas on the property.

Another benefit includes lender beware, which provides the potential financial lender with an in-depth evaluation of potential environmental risks associated with the property of interest in order to ensure the lender is content with providing the purchaser with the financing. This also allows the financial lender to verify the risk involved with the financial loan, so that foreclosure responsibilities of remediating the site can be avoided in the future.

Another benefit includes pre-purchase. This decreases the potential for identifying environmental issues on the site, which can delay property transactions in the future.

Lastly, another benefit includes leverage. Property values can be negotiated during property transactions when impacted soil and/or groundwater has been identified on the site in exceedance of the applicable Site Condition Standards. The potential costs required to perform the required soil and groundwater remediation on the site can be discussed and incorporated into the property transaction deal in order to lower the purchase price.

Property owners, purchasers, lenders and tenants can make information decisions about the property in question when they obtain valuable information regarding a site’s environmental condition.

Across Ontario, Rubidium’s environmental consultants have conducted soil sampling and testing during environmental site assessments for a wide range of industries. Contact us today, and we will help you identify what, if any, environmental site assessments and/or soil and groundwater remediation might be required at the property of interest.

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