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Soil Contaminant Testing

by DanielleS | | 118 views | 2 comments |

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I'm looking into options for soil testing that are more accessible but also reliable, and am curious about what folks out there have been using to test soils for heavy metals, PAH's, and other oil and gas related contaminants. Have you used colorimeters, spectometers, reagants or something else to characterize these in soils? Do you know of any extension offices, agencies or makers spaces offering cheap soil contaminant testing? Which guidelines do you use to compare your soil test results to in terms of contaminant limits?

I'll be at the Barnraising in Houston and hoping we can get together to explore soil testing options- what can we further develop to be more usable and give us better results? If you have experience with soil testing for contaminants, please be in touch and lets work on this together!


Dear DanielleS. I'm a software developer, retired but still active with code writing, developing analytics for natural resource management. We just had a major incident at the Brumadinho iron mining dam in State Minas Gerais Brazil, which might cause some of the worst environmental disasters, we've ever seen. I'm doing research how to create a basic monitoring device, possibly based on spectrophotometer to detect traces of contaminants, mainly the heavy metal elements in river water, or soil. Avoiding reagents would be great, as it helps to automate the measurement without need for human intervention, or expensive laboratory assistance. Not sure yet, if this will be possible, for now its just a line of thoughts and research. I'm happy to exchange ideas about this techniques, also for soil measurement, as there is growing market for such type of monitoring. Regards, Claude (Brazil)

I know it's expensive, but the quickest heavy metal monitor is to dry the soil and do X-Ray flourescence (XRF).

After that, there are many set chemical tests for heavy metals. How well they work on soil, I don't know.

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