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what is UKWIR water authority soil testing, why do I need UKWIR water authority soil testing, how do I get a UKWIR soil test, UKWIR water authority soil condition report

What Is UKWIR Water Authority Soil Testing?

Laying water supply pipes in contaminated soil can have very negative effects on the quality of drinking water and ultimately the health of those drinking it. The local water authority will usually request that soil be tested prior the installation of water supply pipes, if it's suspected that soil may be contaminated, however, you may wish to carry out a UKWIR soil test for your own due diligence prior to laying water pipes for your own peace of mind.

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What is a UKWIR Soil Test?

United Kingdom Water Industry Research (UKWIR) published "Guidance for the Selection of Water Supply Pipes to be used in Brownfield Sites" in January 2011 to aid developers, self-lay providers, water companies and consultants when planning, designing, and constructing water mains and services in brownfield sites. While this guidance states that it applies only to brownfield sites, the same process should be carried out for greenfield sites assumed to be potentially contaminated.

Laying drinking water pipes in contaminated soil can have very negative effects on the quality of drinking water and ultimately the health of those drinking it. Some contaminants can permeate through certain materials and some can corrode the pipes themselves, leading to potential leakages and exposure to contaminants in the soil. This is why it is so important to ensure that soil is not contaminated before water pipes are laid. The local water authority will usually request that soil be tested prior the installation of water supply pipes, if it's suspected that soil may be contaminated. This usually applies to brownfield sites as these are often potentially subject to contamination from past activities. While UKWIR soil testing is requested by the local water authority as part of a water connection application, you may wish to carry out a UKWIR soil test for your own due diligence prior to laying drinking water pipes for your own peace of mind.

What's Included in a UKWIR Water Authority Soil Condition Report?

A UKWIR soil condition report will generally involve a full risk assessment of potential contamination risks at a site, however, it may only need to include testing and interpretation of soil samples if the potential contamination risks are already known. It's important to determine the nature and extent of any potential contamination at a site to ensure that risks are not missed and also to avoid unnecessary testing that wastes time and money. The first stage of a water authority soil condition report is, therefore, to carry out a Preliminary Risk Assessment and determine which contaminants are likely to be present, and where, to be able to recommend how physical UKWIR soil testing should be carried out.

Alternatively, it may be easier to simply carry out sampling of soil in the areas where drinking water pipes are to be laid and test them for a predetermined suite of contaminants, produced by the UK Water Industry Research. The UKWIR soil testing suite includes the following contaminants:

Petroleum Hydrocarbons – A range of petroleum hydrocarbon fractions will be tested and it may be necessary to further fractionate hydrocarbons into aliphatic/aromatic fractions if a more detailed site specific risk assessment is required

VOC – Volatile Organic Compounds

BTEX & MTBE – Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene and Xylenes along with Methyl-Tertiary Butyl Ether

SVOC – Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds excluding Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Phenols, Cresols & chlorinated phenols

pH, Electrical conductivity & Redox potential - Required on sites where wrapped steel, wrapped ductile iron or copper pipes are to be laid to assess the risk of corrosion

Ethers, Nitrobenzene, Ketones, Aldehydes and Amines - Required where previous site uses include the use, storage, treatment, disposal or manufacture of these substances

Our service will not only include appropriately targeted UKWIR testing of soil samples, but we can also interpret your results to let you know which pipe materials you can use and which you should avoid at your site based on specific threshold values developed by the UKWIR.

How Do I Get a UKWIR Water Authority Soil Test?

To save time and cost, you can now order a soil sample test kit directly from our website, including sample containers and a guide for collection, for UKWIR soil testing in our UKAS accredited laboratory. Go to our soil testing kits page, click order online, select "UKWIR Water Authority Test", choose the number of samples you want to take, pay securely through PayPal and we'll do the rest.

Alternatively, We can carry out UKWIR soil condition reports, including soil testing, for the Water Authority or for your own due diligence on brownfield and greenfield land to your specific requirements whether you know the specific contaminants of concern at your site or simply require a generic assessment of a range contaminants that may pose a risk to drinking water pipes.

1. Contact us and let us know your requirements
2. Following initial consultation we can provide an outline proposal detailing how we can help and the costs involved
3. Our environmental consultants will then carry out UKWIR Soil Testing including interpretation of the results to recommend appropriate drinking water pipe materials
4. We can turnaround a UKWIR Water Authority Soil Test within days of your initial enquiry, allowing you to stick to schedules and minimise any disruption to your project

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