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Soil Testing

Acid Sulphate Soils

Asbestos Identification


Non-Metallic Inorganics

Non-Metallic Inorganics



Physical Properties

Waste Characteristics

Soil Testing

Soils are essential for life. Soils provide anchorage for roots, hold water and essential nutrients, maintain the balance of atmospheric gases, are a habitat for several organisms and support biodiversity.


Past and current commercial and urban applications, agriculture and horticulture, mining and quarrying, construction and industrial activities, landfill and waste disposal activities, combined with poor environmental management plans and remediation strategies, can potentially result in land contamination issues.


No matter what the intended use of the land site may be, the composition and state of the soil is absolutely fundamental. Accordingly, soil testing and monitoring supported by quality results for more informed decision-making is essential.


At Envirolab Services, our network of laboratories and support offices, located Australia wide, are specialised in a broad range of laboratory soil testing.


NATA Accredited, our methods and procedures are compliant with strict regulatory requirements and guidelines to ensure quality laboratory testing and reporting. Our quality service and reliability provided by our passionate and experienced team of scientists will oversee the analysis of your soil samples and review results to ensure your requirements are met.


Ask our specialised team of scientists about how we can assist you with soil testing.

Acid Sulphate Soils

Acid sulfate soils (ASS), sediments and rocks contain iron sulfides (e.g. pyrite). If left undisturbed, the presence of iron sulfides do not present any potential impact. However, if these are disturbed by actions including, excavation and draining, they will rapidly form sulfuric acid oxidation in the presence of air. ASS that have been disturbed are called actual acid sulfate soils (AASS), and may expedite certain detrimental impacts.


Particularly in mining and construction, acid sulfate soils are capable of causing damage to steel and concrete structures. In the environment, they are hazardous to plants, animals and water sources.


Envirolab Services Sydney is NATA Accredited for the full:

  • SPOCAS suite (Suspension Peroxide Oxidation Combined Acidity and Sulfur)

  • SCR suite (Chromium Reducible Sulfur)

  • pHF /pHox and pHINC


MPL Laboratories is NATA Accredited for the full:

  • SPOCAS suite

  • SCR suite

See more information on Acid Sulphate Soils Testing at Envirolab Services


Asbestos Identification

Asbestos containing materials, such as 'fibro sheeting' debris in soil may present serious health issues, along with financial implications for commercial and residential occupants. Accurate analysis ensures confidence for the community where the presence of Asbestos is suspected.


The presence of Asbestos in soil could indicate the incorrect disposal of rubble and waste during demolition of various building sites or that the location was subject to illegal dumping. Asbestos containing materials may have also been used as top soil or landfill, buried or left behind prior to the implementation of safe disposal methods.


The accurate identification of Asbestos in soil is required during construction, excavation, civil engineering works as well as other major earthwork projects.


Testing for Asbestos in Soil

Laboratory analysis of samples suspected of containing asbestos is the most accurate method of positively identifying asbestos. The collection of soil samples should be conducted by experienced professionals, particularly for Asbestos. Background for such sampling is provided by the National Environment Protection Council, under the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (NEPM) Volume 2 (B1).   


Asbestos testing is one of the main areas of environment contamination testing provided by Envirolab Services. Our team has many years of experience in providing qualitative identification of:

  • Chrysotile AsbestosSee more on Asbestos Testing

  • Amosite Asbestos

  • Crocidolite Asbestos


Our NATA Accredited, Asbestos Testing facilities are composed of a friendly customer service team, who is always on hand to ensure a timely response to your testing requirements. Contact us today.


PFAS, including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are relatively newly emerging contaminants. The once extensive use of PFAS in industrial applications and their use in Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) for firefighting, has resulted in extensive contamination. The high mobility of PFAS has caused detection in water bodies at significant distances from areas of use.


PFAS may also be present and leachable in landfill sites where materials and products containing these compounds have historically been sent for disposal.


Ongoing action to phase out the use of PFAS remains a priority, since there are concerns about their ability to bioaccumulate and biomagnify in the environment, in addition to the suspected detrimental health effects. 


PFAS Testing at Envirolab

Envirolab offers PFAS testing as part of our service offering.


Analysis is conducted by combining liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MSMS). The LC-MSMS technology provides a fast and accurate method for detecting PFAS in a variety of sample matrices including water, soil, blood/serum and biota. Future testing in air is now feasible with international regulatory bodies developing suitable sampling and analysis techniques.


Apart from Envirolab's state of the art facilities, our staff have over 10 years' expertise in the scientific testing for PFAS.


Additionally, Envirolab was an early adopter to the Total Oxidisable Precursor Assay (TOPA), which may assist in determining the presence of precursor PFAS compounds i.e. PFAS that can chemically and/or biotransform into the persistent PFAS e.g. PFOS, PFHxS and PFOA.

Download Envirolab Services Flyer on PFAS Testing



For more information about our laboratory testing services, get in touch with us today

Non-Metallic Inorganics

Soil testing is important for fertility evaluation and identification of physical or chemical soil imbalances. Under our extensive range of services, Envirolab can conduct inorganic (non-metallic) testing for a range of compounds including:

  • Agricultural Tests (Available forms of Phosphorus, Sulphur, Cations (K, Na, Ca, Mg) and trace metals based on Rayment and Lyons methodology)

  • Fluoride

  • Anions (Fluoride, Chloride, Sulphate)
  • CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity)

  • pH /EC

  • Nutrients (NOx, TKN, PO4)

  • ESP (Exchangeable Sodium Percentage)

  • TOC (Total Organic Carbon)


Envirolab also tests for various forms on Cyanide, which has commonly been used at gas works and currently in mining. Cyanides are also the bi-products of several other industrial practices (e.g. Aluminium smelting).


Inorganics Testing at Envirolab

For other Inorganic testing requirements not listed above please contact our expert Envirolab team now to discuss how we can help you.


Due to industrial activities and waste disposal, thepotential for soils used for cultivation and farming being increasingly contaminated by toxic heavy metals, is inevitably a significant concern.


Some of these common metals found as a result of industrial activity include:

  • Arsenic

  • Cadmium

  • Chromium

  • Copper

  • Mercury

  • Lead

  • Nickel

  • Zinc


State-of-the-art technology is important for detecting heavy metals elements in soil samples. Our NATA Accredited laboratories at Envirolab utilise Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP - OES) as the analytical finish to soil analysis to ensure that you are provided with accurate and reliable results. The even more sensitive Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry technique (ICP-MS) can also be utilised for part per billion analysis for trace metals in soils (e.g. Uranium and Thorium).


Ask us now how we can help you with testing for the presence of metals in soils.


In our environment, there is an ever increasing presence of potentially harmful and known carcinogenic organic compounds in soil. This is largely due to their incorporation into many industrial and manufacturing production processes, as well as fuels for transport and electricity generation.


The release of these organic compounds into soil and the environment is therefore an area of concern for regulatory bodies and authorities as well a variety of industries and monitoring bodies.


Soil testing methods we perform include:

  • Total Recoverable Hydrocarbons (TRH) and Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and

  • Xylene (BTEX)

  • Aliphatic/aromatic speciation

  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs, or Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons)

  • Pesticides such as Organo-Chlorine (OCP) and Organo-Phosphate (OPP) Pesticides

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • Herbicides (Phenoxy Acids and Triazines)

  • Phenols

  • Carbamates

  • Pyrethroids

  • Semi Volatile Organic Compound (SVOCs) screens (>200 compounds feasible)

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (>80 compounds feasible)

  • GC-MS scans for unknowns


Contact us today on how we can assist you with your soil testing specifications.

Physical Properties

The quality of soil is influenced by its physical properties. Soil texture and soil structure impact the availability of air and water, which are important components for plant growth. Farming and land clearing due to industrialisation in turn affects the soil structure.


Some of the testing on the physical properties of soil that our team at Envirolab can assist you with includes and is not limited to:

  • Resistivity

  • EC (Electrical Conductivity)

  • Soil Moisture

  • pH

  • Texture

  • PSD (Particle-size Distribution)

  • TOC (Total Organic Carbon)


Testing is tailored to your project requirements

Physical properties of soil are wide and extensive and may require testing for other aspects, such as moisture or total organic carbon. Envirolab offers a wide variety of scientific soil testing for all regions across Australia. Based on your specific requirements, we would be able to provide you with a customised quote. Contact us today for any assistance.

Waste Characteristics

Industrial waste from contaminated sites often ends up in landfill and require characterisation to determine the cost for disposal and hence forth the methods of containment. Over time, toxins can leach into groundwater and become long-term environmental hazards. Therefore, assessment of the waste, prior to relocation in landfill, may reduce the risk of the leaching of such toxic chemicals into the wider environment.


This waste may contain components from demolition materials to industrial and household toxic wastes. Over time, toxins can leach into soil, groundwater and air and become long-term environment hazards.


Envirolab can conduct scientific testing for the following environmental methods of contaminant mobility:

  • Leachate Analysis (TCLP, ASLP, MEP, SPLP).

  • Leachate Environmental Assessment Framework (LEAF) methods (first commercial laboratory in Australia to achieve NATA accreditation for LEAF testing.

  • Foreign Material Testing - for determining the potential re-use and/or classification of certain material types as per the NSW EPA waste classification guidelines.

Why Envirolab Services?


We strive to proactively communicate and drive quality improvements within the business as well as across the industry. This ensures consistency in the delivery of quality work, whilst also enabling adaptability to change for continuous learning.


Our service is the backbone to our success. This is because we view our internal customers as being part of the same team, working together towards common goals and results. In doing so, we aim to exceed customer expectations through great service and the delivery of quality and timely results.


We pride ourselves on being consistently depended upon to deliver commitments. Our staff proactively go above and beyond to ensure our different clients’ expectations are met.

You can view or download our broad range of capabilities for environmental testing to see why we are the first choice for our clients.

Latest News and Content

Media Release

Envirolab Group Appoints Karl Cope as CEO

Envirolab Group is delighted to announce the appointment of Karl Cope as CEO. During Karl's onboarding process, founder, Tania Notaras, will remain as Managing Director and assume the new role of Chairperson of Envirolab's Board of Management. 

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Media Release

Envirolab Services Melbourne Gains NATA Accreditation for Reactive Silica (SiO2) in Water Matrices Using the Discrete Analyser

Envirolab Services Melbourne has obtained NATA Accreditation for analysing Reactive Silica(SiO2) in water matrices using the Discrete Analyser. This newly accredited capability provides in-house expertise for precise and dependable results, especially for our clients in industrial water treatment.

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Envirolab Services Sydney Extends NATA Accreditation to Include the High Temperature Combustion - Infrared Solids Analyser

A further extension in NATA Accreditation has been granted to Envirolab Services Sydney. The laboratory's accreditation has been extended for the analysis of Carbon, Nitrogen and Sulfur in solid matrices, using the High Temperature Combustion Analyser.

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