One of the major environmental services that ADE offers is soil testing and analysis of other solids (e.g. sediments). In general, this testing is used for contaminated site assessments, environmental investigations and to determine the appropriate classification of material to enable proper waste disposal.
The major soil testing services that ADE provides include:
- Waste Classification: In order to dispose of waste appropriately, materials are classified into categories based upon their risk to environmental and human health. Dependent on the classification which the waste receives, this determines the way in which the material can be appropriately managed and disposed of. The ADE laboratory conducts analyses on soil samples collected to determine which classification should be given.
- ENM Testing: ENM, or Excavated Natural Material, refers to naturally occurring rock and soil excavated from the ground that contains at least 98% natural material. However, in order to receive this classification, the material must undergo chemical testing within the laboratory to ensure that the composition meets the strict standards. This is an important test as it can then provide an exemption for material that would otherwise be classified as waste and can instead be reused as general fill, engineered fill or landscaping material.
- VENM Testing: Virgin Excavated Natural Material, or VENM, refers to naturally occurring material that has been excavated from an area that is not in any way chemically tainted nor does it contain sulphuric ores. The ADE laboratory is able to analyse soil samples for VENM classification by running tests to ensure that it is free of contaminants.
- Acid Sulfate Soils : Acid Sulfate Soil Assessments are conducted in areas where it is suspected that the soil may have sulphur bearing compounds at a concentration above 0.05% in clays and 0.01% in sands. Following the collection of soil samples at different depths, the samples are subsequently analysed by the laboratory using the following tests:
- Screening of collected soil samples for pH. The samples exhibiting the lowest pH for acid sulfate are then analysed further.
- Screening of collected groundwater samples for Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Electrical Conductivity (EC), pH, Redox potential and temperature and laboratory analysis for Chloride (Cl–) and Sulphate (SO42-)
- Geotechnical Investigations : Our laboratory conducts a range of soil tests for geotechnical purposes including:
- Compaction testing (determining the dry density ratio, moisture variation and moisture ratio)
- California Bearing Ratio (CBR) testing (determining the soil strength)
- Foreign materials testing
- Dynamic Cone Penetration (DCP) testing
- Soil Moisture Content
- Soil classification (liquid limit of soil, plastic limit of soil, linear shrinkage, particle size distribution of soil, dispersion and pH value)