Contamination Testing

by | Jul 26, 2023

Regardless of the type of project in question, contamination testing is vital in order to prevent potential issues from arising. This is the case whether you’re installing a GSHP, laying water pipes, or even growing vegetables. At Borehole Solutions, we offer an extensive variety of testing services to identify the presence of any contaminants. How do we go about this?

The Testing Process

The testing process involves sending ground samples away for specialist testing to discern the presence of hidden pollutants. Whilst many themselves are invisible to the naked eye, there are some tell-tale signs that the soil may be contaminated. The most common example of this is the presence of unusual odours from barren patches of soil. This may be due to buried metal pipes or industrial lead, improper waste disposal, industrial activity, or non-organic farming practices.

How Important is Contamination Testing?

As you’d expect, identifying contaminants is essential to prevent damage to both the environment and human health. This is particularly true in cases where the use of a piece of land changes from industrial to ‘sensitive.’ An example of this may be building a school upon the grounds of an old factory or waste disposal centre. If this is the case, the land must be made safe to use under the Victorian Planning System. Other situations where contamination testing is necessary include site condition reports, pollution incidents, or for waste disposal purposes.

Exposure to many contaminants may cause both immediate and long-term damage to human health. Some gases emitted, for example, can create an explosion risk; whilst others can increase your long-term risk of cancer.

Also, contamination testing is essential so to prevent any cross contamination of controlled waters. Controlled waters are bodies of water below the ground’s surface which are in direct contact with the subsoil. As you’d expect, the consequences of this are severe. Not only would it directly impact the local wildlife, but many of us also get our water from controlled water sources! Understandably, it’s essential these factors are addressed before any work can begin.

How can these Contaminants cause Harm?

For contamination to cause harm, three factors must be present. These include:

  • The source of contamination. This could be anything from a landfill site to a factory disposing waste improperly 100 years ago. Even if the original source of contamination is long gone, the contaminant itself may still be present.
  • A pathway to allow the contaminant to spread. Essentially, this is how people could come into contact withthe contaminant. Chemicals could potentially leak into the groundwater, or people could simply become exposed to contaminated soil when drilling.
  • A receptor which the contaminant could impact. This could be the workers, general public, residents, flora and fauna.

Which Testing Services do we offer?

At Borehole Solutions, our specialist team can undertake thorough contamination testing to identify any traces of potential contaminants. Alongside this, we provide statistical data and further advice should any contaminants be uncovered in our investigations. Some of the contaminants we can identify include:

  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cyanide
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

Get in Touch

For more information regarding our contamination testing and Waste Acceptance Criteria Testing (WAC) services, get in touch. To reach our expert team, call us today on 01733 200 501, or email us at, you can complete our enquiry form by clicking here.