Soil Testing and Analysis

Naturally occurring, acid sulfate soils and sediments contain iron sulfides, most commonly "pyrite," which can rapidly form sulfuric acid when exposed to oxygen. This acid can leach into surrounding environments, possibly causing damage to concrete and steel structures. Acidification of surface water and groundwater may occur from iron, aluminium and various other heavy metals entering into local water systems. This may cause severe short and long term socio-economic and environmental impacts. 

Envirolab is NATA Accredited for the full SPOCAS suite (Suspension Peroxide Oxidation Combined Acidity and Sulfur) and Chromium suite of tests .This will provide results for both the ‘acid’ trail and the ‘sulfur’ trail allowing comparison of results to guideline values. AVS (Acid Volatile Sulfur) and field test analysis is also available, along with appropriate suites for water analysis in acid sulfate soil terrane.

Acid sulfate soils (ASS), sediments and rocks contain iron sulfides that occurred naturally thousands of years ago. These soils are harmless and called potential acid sulfate soils (PASS) if left undisturbed. However, if these are disturbed by actions including, excavation and draining, they will rapidly form sulfuric acid by reacting with oxygen in the 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 is NATA accredited for the full:

SPOCAS suite (Suspension Peroxide Oxidation Combined Acidity and Sulfur) 
SCR suite (Chromium Reducible Sulfur)


For more information, download our Envirolab flyer on Acid Sulphate Soil Testing or view our Acid Sulphate Soils services page.    


Other Useful Resources
- View common acronyms associated with acid sulphate soil testing 

- Read article that explains the Impact of Acid Sulphate Soil, Sediments and Rock

Asbestos containing materials, such as 'fibro sheeting' debris in soil may present health issues, along with financial implications for commercial and residential occupants.

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 common method of positively identifying asbestos. However, as there is no standard method for collecting an asbestos sample from soil, you need to ensure that you are supported by experts in the field.

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

Chrysotile Asbestos
Amosite Asbestos
Crocidolite Asbestos


Our fully operational, NATA accredited laboratories are also located with offices to ensure a timely response to your testing requirements. Contact us today on. 


Other Useful Resources
Download Envirolab flyer on asbestos testing.

PFAS, including Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are emerging contaminants. The once extensive use of PFAS in industrial applications and Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) in firefighting products has resulted in extensive contamination of areas with high exposure to these chemicals such as soil, groundwater and air. 

PFAS can also be released in landfill sites where products containing these contaminants have 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.


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-MS/MS). The LC-MS/MS technology provides a fast and accurate method for detecting PFAS from a variety of samples including water, soil, serum and biota.

Apart from state of the art facilities, our expertise in scientific testing will assist you in your testing requirements. 

For more information, Download flyer on PFAS "TOP" (Total Oxidisable Precursor) Testing at Envirolab

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 Fertility
Aggressive Tests Fluoride
CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) pH /EC
Chloride Nutrients
Cyanide Sulphate
ESP (Exchangeable Sodium Percentage) TOC (Total Organic Carbon)


Inorganics Testing at Envirolab
While we have listed different inorganics testing methods for soil, it is about the scientific testing meeting your individual requirements. Contact our expert Envirolab team now to discuss how we can help you.     

Due to increased industrial activities and waste disposal, soils for cultivation and farming are being increasingly contaminated by toxic heavy metals. 

Some of these common metals may include:



Quality service accompanied by state-of-the-art technology is important for detecting heavy metals elements in soil samples. Our NATA Accredited laboratories at Envirolab apply an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP - OES) as part of our testing methodology to ensure that you are provided with accurate and reliable results.

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 organic compounds in soil due to their incorporation into many processes of production. The release of these organic compounds into soil is therefore an area of concern for health officials, regulatory bodies and authorities as well a variety of industries, including farming and agriculture.

Collecting soil samples for laboratory testing may be as varied and unique as the locations from which they are collected. In understanding the complexities and characteristics specific to soil samples, our team at Envirolab have the knowledge and expertise to assist you with your briefing requirements when testing the presence of organic compounds in soil.

Soil testing methods we perform include:

Aliphatic/aromatic speciation
Organo-chlorines (OC), Organo-phosphates (OP) and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs, or  Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons)
Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs)
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene (BTEX)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
GC/MS scans for unknowns
Herbicides (Phenoxy and Triazines)


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

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:

Aggressive Tests 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.

The dumping of landfill solid waste leads to soil pollution.

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 and provide absolute results for the following environmental contaminants:

Leachate Analysis (TCLP, ASLP, MEP, SPLP, LEAF)
Other foreign matters contaminating soil (RTA T276)


Other Useful Resources