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Soil Sampling

Soil sampling is often required during facility closures where contamination is suspected or as due diligence when purchasing property. Sampling determines if soils meet health and environmental standards or need further cleanup.

CDMS has extensive expertise conducting soil sampling to characterize on-site contamination. Our team will perform an initial site survey to determine boring locations and identify underground utilities. We use advanced drilling techniques to access soil and collect samples at depth. Samples are handled under strict chain of custody and sent to certified labs for analysis of contaminants like heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides and more.

CDMS will compile a detailed report presenting the sampling methodology, lab results, maps, and comparison to regulatory screening levels. Our soil sampling services provide critical data to evaluate potential liabilities and environmental risk when closing or acquiring properties.

Let our experts handle your soil sampling needs.

Regulatory bodies
  • Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
  • Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB)
  • Local Environmental Health Departments
Who needs it

Some sampling is required of an agency, usually in facility closure situations if conditions indicate the potential for contamination. Other sampling is done as due diligence upon the purchase of property, to protect the buyer from buying a site that has contamination, which they will then be responsible for.

Regulation reference
  • Title 22, California Code of Regulations, Div 4.5
  • Title 27, California Code of Regulations, Div 2, Subdiv 1
  • Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations (40 CFR 264/265)
  • Regional Water Board Basin Plans
  • Conditional Use Permits and local ordinances
  • California Land Reuse and Revitalization Act
  • California Land Environmental Restoration and Reuse Act
What our service provides:

CDMS will conduct soil sampling at the site location to determine the extent of any soil contamination. The following activities will be performed:

  • Initial site investigation to determine the scope of the boring.
  • Identify underground public utility lines
  • Drilling of surfaces to gain access to the soil area.
  • Drill soil borings and the subject areas.
  • Secure the samples with a proper chain of custody.
  • Have the samples analyzed for the potential contaminant levels.
  • Prepare a report of the findings.

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Contact us

When is soil sampling required?
When contaminant releases are suspected, before construction, phase 1 assessments, site closures, etc.

How are soil sample locations determined?
Based on site history, suspected areas of contamination, geology, environmental pathways.

How is access to soil obtained for sampling?
Methods include hand tools for shallow sampling or drill rigs for deep core samples.

What depth are soil samples collected from?
Depends on the site. Shallow (0-2 ft) to deep samples (10-100 ft) may be needed.

What are common soil contaminants tested for?
Metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, SVOCs.

What is the process for collecting soil samples?
Use decontaminated tools, collect in jars or bags, preserve if needed, label, document in field notes.

How are soil samples transported and handled?
Sealed containers are packed in coolers with ice packs and shipped via overnight courier.

What is soil sample chain of custody documentation?
Records tracking sample custody from collection through analysis to ensure integrity.

How long does laboratory soil sample analysis take?
Typically 7-15 business days depending on analytes being tested.

What methods do labs use to analyze soil?
Common methods include GC/MS, ICP-AES, UV/Vis Spectrophotometry, wet chemistry.

How are soil sampling and analysis results reported?
In a detailed report presenting methods, tables of lab data, comparisons to action levels.

Who conducts soil sampling?
Environmental consultants, geologists, engineers, drillers, laboratories, remediation contractors. Please Contact Us to get support or request a Soil Sampling assessment. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.

Does soil sampling require health and safety precautions?
Yes, proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and precautions are necessary in contaminated areas.

When is a soil management plan or remediation required?
If sampling shows contaminants exceed regulatory screening levels or cleanup goals.

Can previous land use influence soil sampling?
Yes, past use as industrial, waste sites, agriculture, etc. informs contaminants to test for.

How many soil samples are typically collected?
Highly variable. As few as 3-5 to hundreds may be collected depending on site size.

How are soil samples packaged for transport to the lab?
Sealable plastic bags, jars, acetate sleeves inside labeled boxes or coolers.

What quality control samples are collected?
Method blanks, duplicates, matrix spikes to validate laboratory processes.

How long must soil sampling and analysis records be retained?
Minimum of 3 years is common but may need longer for some sites.