Overview of Hazardous Waste Soil Testing

Guide to Hazardous Waste Soil Testing

Estimates say various industries generate over 400 million tons of hazardous waste annually. Hazardous waste can cause severe health problems and damage to the environment. This is why hazardous waste soil testing is crucial.

Soil testing for dangerous waste is essential to ensure the environment’s safety and human health.

Here we provide an overview of the different hazardous waste soil testing types. You’ll learn about factors that affect testing accuracy and the testing process.

In addition, this guide will provide the necessary information to test for hazardous waste in soil. You can protect yourself, others, and the environment from the dangers of hazardous waste.

What Is Hazardous Waste Soil Testing?

As mentioned, hazardous waste soil testing is essential to environmental safety. It is the process of identifying and analyzing potentially dangerous substances in soil. These substances can include:

  • chemicals
  • heavy metals
  • pesticides
  • other hazardous materials


These can all pose a risk to human health and the environment. Testing is crucial because it not only helps to identify any contaminated soil, it can determine the severity of the contamination and guide how to manage and clean it up.

Local, state, and federal regulations often require this soil testing to ensure the environment’s safety and public health. Hazardous waste soil testing can be conducted in various ways.

These include laboratory testing and field testing. It involves taking soil samples from different locations and depths and analyzing them for the presence of hazardous waste.

Types of Hazardous Waste Soil Testing

There are several different types of hazardous waste soil testing. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common types of dangerous waste soil testing include:

Chemical Analysis Testing

Chemical testing may not be done to find hazardous waste. However, it is one type of soil testing that needs mentioning.

This testing is done to determine the mineral element of plant nutrients and what is affecting soil fertility levels.

The four primary plant nutrients tested are for nitrogen, pH, phosphorous and potassium contents.

In addition, but not limited to this, testing is done to determine soil cohesion, water-stable agglomerates, pH, bulk weight, soil thickness etc.

The main objective of chemical analysis testing for pH and other organic matters is for sites, such as farming, with crops to predict where applying nutrients will increase returns.

Field Screening Testing

Field screening testing is a quick and cost-effective way to identify contaminated soil, such as lead.

Lead contamination can come from battery recycling, mining, smelting, leaded gasoline, waste incineration, and leftover paint. Where concentrated, the area becomes a “hot spot” and must be identified.

This testing involves using handheld instruments or kits to test for the presence of specific contaminants.

Field screening testing can help identify hotspots of contamination.

Physical Testing

Physical testing involves analyzing the physical properties of soil to identify potential contamination. This can include testing for particle and bulk density changes and soil permeability. It also tests for differences in texture and odor.

However, physical testing is less precise than other testing methods but can be a useful preliminary screening tool.

Microbial Testing

Microbial testing involves analyzing the soil for specific microorganisms at terrestrial field sites. It offers vital insights into the terrestrial ecosystem’s overall productivity and health.

These microorganisms can break down or metabolize specific contaminants. This type of testing helps determine the effectiveness of bioremediation techniques.

It is not practical for all types of contaminants.

The choice of testing method will depend on several factors. These include:

  • the type and extent of contamination
  • the regulatory requirements
  • the available resources


Which Hazardous Waste Soil Testing is Right?

By calling a professional hazardous soil waste testing consultant, they will know which dangerous soil waste testing suits your situation. A professional can ensure the most accurate and comprehensive results.

They will classify it according to soil waste classification regulations and determine the best action for managing and cleaning up the contaminated soil.

The Hazardous Waste Soil Testing Process

The hazardous waste soil testing process involves several steps. These include sample collection, preparation, and analysis. The following is a step-by-step guide to the dangerous waste soil testing process:

Site Assessment

Before any soil testing can take place, a site assessment must be done. This identifies potential sources of contamination. It determines the areas of the site that needs testing.

Sample Collection

Testers collect soil samples from different locations and depths. Testers use a variety of tools. These can include:

  • soil augers
  • hand trowels
  • drilling equipment


The number and location of samples collected will depend on the size and complexity of the site. It also depends on the type of tests happening.

Sample Preparation

Once the testers collect the soil samples, they begin preparations for testing. This involves removing any debris or plant material from the sample and placing it into a clean container for transport to the laboratory.


The soil samples are analyzed in the laboratory using various testing methods. These include chemical analysis, physical testing, and microbial testing. The type of testing used will depend on the contaminants being tested for and the regulatory requirements.

Interpretation of Results

Once the testing is complete, the results are interpreted to determine the presence and extent of contamination. The results are compared to regulatory standards and guidelines to determine if the soil is safe for its intended use.


If contamination is detected, remediation strategies may be required to clean up the contaminated soil. The remediation strategy will depend on the type and extent of contamination and the site’s intended use.

The Importance of Working with a Professional

When it comes to dangerous waste soil testing, it is essential to work with a professional. As mentioned, a professional ensures that the testing is conducted correctly and that the results are accurate and reliable.

Professionals will have the appropriate certifications and qualifications. For example, professionals conducting hazardous waste soil testing should have certification from organizations such as the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) or the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

They should also thoroughly understand local, state, and federal hazardous waste soil testing and remediation regulations. Professionals train on strict quality assurance protocols to ensure accurate testing. Their results are reliable.

At All American Environmental, we specialize in a variety of testing methods, including:

  • TCLP
  • organics
  • base neutrals
  • volatiles
  • semi-volatiles
  • metals
  • general chemistry


Our team of experts provides our clients with the highest quality testing services while ensuring compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Hazardous Waste Soil Testing Done Throughout Central and North New Jersey

Testing for dangerous waste in the soil is a necessary process. One that helps to identify and mitigate potential risks to human health and the environment. When conducting dangerous waste soil testing, working with a professional with the knowledge, expertise, and appropriate certifications is essential to ensure accurate and reliable results.

Whether you are looking to assess the environmental impact of your business or need to remediate contaminated soil, All American Environmental has the certifications,  experience and expertise to help. Contact us today to learn more about our hazardous waste soil testing services.

Hazardous Waste Soil Testing New Jersey counties we provide services for.

Morris County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Hunterdon County, Mercer CountyPassaic County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Ocean County, Essex County, Union County, Warren County, NJ.