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Soil and Groundwater Testing

The collection of soil samples and groundwater samples is for the purpose of determining the actual amount of hazardous organic and inorganic materials in the ground and comparing those amounts with the statutory risk-based limits established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The samples also provide other information that aids in the characterization of the subject site or area.

Soil sampling:

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. geologists and geo-technicians, trained to recognize the different kinds of lithologic units and zones of contamination that can occur in the subsurface, must perform the soil sampling. SEE uses a photo-ionization detector (PID) on bagged samples to estimate the amount of volatile organic substances when the samples are collected. The geoprobe or hand augured samples are collected every two to four feet with boring advancement. Usually, samples are taken down to the water table and below the water-bearing zone if possible.

Every care is taken to insure that the core samples are not disturbed and that no volatiles are lost, and proper methods and materials are used so the soil samples are not contaminated.

The collection of soil samples by a Shelby tube sampler may be for geophysical and geochemical analysis including the following parameters: hydraulic conductivity, permeability, particle size fraction, porosity, specific yield, specific retention, petrology, mineralogy, stratification, and Atterberg Limits. "Verification of Soil Remediation" (Michigan Department of Natural Resources, April 1994) establishes the number and location of soil samples collected for verifying soil remediation of the subject site.

Groundwater sampling

Low flow sampling with a peristaltic pump, or in some cases, bailers can be used to collect groundwater. Service Environmental Engineering uses a YSI 556 multiprobe monitoring device and other devices to measure such characteristics as: temperature, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, oxidation - reduction potential and turbidity of the groundwater. Methods are used to insure that the ground water sampled represents the average ground water in the formation near the monitoring well. SEE personnel also observes other characteristics that help in understanding the features of the groundwater and contaminates in the groundwater and if such processes as natural bioremediation is occurring or has the potential to occur. The sampling tubes are replaced between each monitoring well and other stringent protocols are used so that the samples are not cross contaminated. One sampling event will occur for some sites while several sampling events may occur to close a 201 or 213 regulated site. This all depends on the needs of the client.

Quality control/quality assurance samples are taken per regulations when needed. All samples are stored on ice and documented on a chain of custody prior to delivering the samples to the state certified laboratory for analysis. Excess soil and groundwater from sampling is placed in 55-gallon drums and removed by licensed haulers to a proper landfill. There are several State of Michigan protocols that are followed during the groundwater sampling and laboratory analysis.


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