Public Lab Research note

Using the Soil Sampling Toolkit

by Bronwen , jjcreedon | October 19, 2018 16:51 19 Oct 16:51 | #17339 | #17339

1. Examine your equipment

Ensure that all equipment is clean before collecting a soil sample, and for each subsequent soil sample location (3 or 5 point composite).

2. Select and Mark sample locations

Choose between a 5-Dice method or 3-Random method. See manual for diagram for reference. Place marker flags on sampling locations. Take photos.

3. Select sample ID numbers (to be filled out on the Site & Chain of Custody forms)
The following sample ID convention is recommended:

[Letter indicating location]-[Sample number]-[Date[YYYY-MM-DD]]-[Your initials] Example: A-2-2018-06-15-EJ

4. Prepare the sampling area (for covered grass areas only)

Put on a pair of nitrile powder free gloves and remove a 2"x2" square of sod.

5. Sample the soil (create a composite sample)

  • lWith nitrile gloves on and using the trowel, dig a 2"x2" hole to a depth of 3" out of the exposed soil. Sampling depth may vary based on depth of root growth or chemical being identified. Use the score marks on the provided trowel to help you. Place in stainless steel bowl.
  • Repeat 2 or 4 more times depending on your sampling method (see manual), and deposit each sample into the stainless steel bowl.
  • Thoroughly mix the soil with the spoon making sure to remove any objects such as sticks and worms until it is well mixed.
  • Transfer enough of the soil mixture into a sterilized glass jar to fill it, making sure not to touch the inside of the jar lid, or the threads of the glass jar. Screw the lid back on tightly.
  • Complete the label by writing the sample ID number, date, time, and your initials. Attach the label to the sample jar.

6. Place the sample jar in the cooler with a plastic bag filled with ice

7. Complete the Site and Chain of Custody forms (included in kit)

8. Clean-up

  • Fill in the holes you have dug with any remaining soil you haven't used.
  • In bucket, thoroughly clean all equipment with lab glass cleaner & water.
  • Rinse equipment with distilled water & air dry and return to a dry bucket.

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Hi, @jjcreedon -- what kinds of contaminants is this appropriate for? I just want to confirm so we can tag it appropriately. Thanks!

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@jjcreedon just responded with the following:

Almost anything. We have partnered with Test America for discounted pricing mainly on metals, PAH's, pesticides, pcb's, and dioxins. Do folks want anything else?


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