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How Much Does Soil Testing Cost?

See below the cost of a soil contamination test including site visit, sample collection and site investigation report, with a 7 day turnaround from sample collection. Fast tracked 3 day turnaround and next day sample collection is available at an additional cost. All projects will be quoted on a case by case basis, with regular clients benefiting from a discount, so the cost may still be subject to change.

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Although our project costs vary from job to job, the average project cost for our soil testing services, including soil sampling and classification testing in a UKAS accredited laboratory, is £600. For contaminated land investigations, the specific price will depend on the size of the site in order to allow representative sampling and for waste disposal services, the price will depend on the amount of soil being disposed of. See below a breakdown of guideline prices of soil testing for waste disposal based on different amounts of soil waste.

+ 10% Fast Tracked Service

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+ 60% Fast Tracked Service

Next Day Site Visit & 3 Day Turnaround - As part of our push to help clients meet tight timescales, we are offering a next day site visit and 3 day turnaround service. Contact us before 12pm and we can visit site for sample collection next day! On top of that, we will fast track the soil test results to provide you with a complete soil contamination investigation in 3 days from sample collection. The availability of this service to be confirmed by email or phone.

Our Soil Testing Costs and Services Explained

What does a soil test include? - We offer a fully bespoke soil testing service that can include testing of a huge range of contaminants in soils. For the disposal of soil waste, our soil contamination testing service will involve a waste classification test that determines whether soil is hazardous or not by analysing it for inorganic heavy metal contaminants (e.g. lead, cadmium, mercury etc.) and organic chemicals such as TPHs, found in crude oil, and PAHs, released from burning fossil fuels. Heavy metals at high concentrations can be highly damaging to the environment and human health, particularly metals like lead, and organic chemicals remain present in the environment for so long that they will continue to be an issue if they are not identified and taken care of. The pH of the soil is also measured.

For contaminated land investigations the testing may be more bespoke and will be determined by a prior assessment of the potential risks likely to be present at a site but is likely to include mostly the same elements. As this service is usually more specific and required due to observed risks to a site, a contaminated land investigation will always require a Phase 1 Preliminary Risk Assessment to be carried out first in order to appropriately sample soil.

What is a land contamination site investigation report? – Our site investigation report details important information on the current location of the site as well as some background research on its historical use. The report will also show the results from laboratory testing that we will carry out on soil samples taken from the site. This kind of report is commonly required by waste disposal (muck away) companies and for planning applications or building regulations.

WAC testing - For soil waste disposal we can also conduct a WAC test, however, please note that a waste classification test must be done before a WAC test as a WAC test alone does not provide the waste disposal company with enough information to determine the landfill class.

Why Do I Need Soil Testing?

Before starting a construction project soil testing must be carried out to identify contamination issues or to classify waste for disposal. If soil contamination is not identified before starting construction there can be major repercussions from environmental authorities and even health problems resulting from contact with contaminants during construction. Conducting soil testing can also save you money in the waste disposal process as proper classification will ensure that you don't pay more than you need to when you send soil waste to landfill. Additionally, intentional misidentification of waste to avoid charges is a crime and so ensuring that you correctly classify waste for disposal will cover you against penalties from environmental authorities.

When disposing of soil waste, the soil needs to be classified with regards to any contamination. This is because there are three different landfill classes that soil waste can be divided into (inert, non-hazardous and hazardous) and these different landfill classes also incur different charges due to the landfill tax. For example, inert and most non-hazardous waste has a landfill tax charge of £2.90 per tonne and hazardous waste has a landfill tax of £91.35 per tonne (as of April 2019).

Hazardous waste will need to pass a hazardous WAC test before it can be accepted to hazardous landfill and non-hazardous waste may be sent to inert landfill if it passes an inert WAC test but it can be sent to non-hazardous landfill without the need for a WAC test

A soil test can, therefore, greatly reduce your overall costs if you can show your waste to be non-hazardous because the waste disposal company may charge you more when they collect the waste if you haven't analysed it as they will need to cover themselves against the higher landfill tax rate should they find the waste to be hazardous. So a small one-off cost of testing soil to fully ensure the correct classification and identification of contaminants can help you avoid massive future costs making soil analysis a very important process that should always be considered in a construction project.

What to Do Next

Our soil testing process can involve a range of services but our general procedure remains the same for each.

1. First the client will fill in our soil test and site investigation questionnaire (available on request)
2. We will then visit the site to take samples and conduct a site investigation assessing details such as the site location, ground conditions and any potential contamination sources nearby
3. The soil samples are then tested in a UKAS accredited laboratory to determine whether the soil is hazardous or non-hazardous
4. If you are disposing of soil waste we can then liaise with the waste disposal company to decide on the type of landfill to send the waste material to (inert, non-hazardous or hazardous)
5. The type of landfill the waste goes to will be determined by a WAC test which is often carried out by the waste disposal company but we are able to do these ourselves. The WAC test determines how any leachable compounds in the soil will act once buried at a landfill site

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