Soil contamination is an unfortunate reality in many lots, and construction companies and developers need to be aware of soil quality to ensure their crews and future occupants will be safe. Testing for soil contamination is essential and helps companies make better choices when designing buildings for those sites and keep people safe during and after construction.
The Purpose of Soil Contamination Testing
Construction companies and developers need to test the soil at the site where they’ll be building. If the soil is contaminated with heavy metals and other chemicals, anyone living or working in the buildings on that site could suffer side effects. There can also be contamination from nearby sites that impact the current site and can harm occupants.
Developers and construction crews need to know what they’re dealing with both to protect themselves and to adjust building plans as part of a mitigation effort. The project may need to add better ventilation to buildings, for example. Cities and counties may require certain changes in order to obtain permits depending on the test results. And it may turn out that the location isn’t suitable for certain facilities, such as playgrounds where children might play in the dirt.
What Actually Happens During the Test
The testing process is straightforward. PA soil testing companies, like Earth Engineering Inc., will perform an Environmental Site Assessment. If a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) is discovered that warrants testing, EEI will collect soil samples and send them to a lab for testing. These tests have to be done by professionals; the construction crew can’t simply scoop up some soil themselves and drive it to a random lab. Environmental Scientists, for example, can collect the samples, and the lab has to be specifically certified for this type of testing.
How Often Does It Need to Be Done?
The testing needs to be done before construction. However, you’ll want to repeat the testing during construction and even afterward to ensure you haven’t missed anything. Developers and construction crews have to keep tabs on what problems the soil presents because ignoring contamination, or changes in the level of contamination, can derail a project quickly.
If you need environmental services in Harrisburg, PA, get in touch with Earth Engineering Inc. We can test soils so that your construction company can proceed with plans. Once you have the results, you can work with local governments to create safe building plans.