Soil Services


Contaminaion of the environment can arise from a variety of sources including the spilling, leaking or inappropriate management of chemicals. Such contamination can pose a threat to human health and the environment through direct, or indirect, exposure. Such exposure can also occur through the release of dust and vapours through the reworking of soils. AGS Environmental Services can provide appropriate guidance and assessment to mitigate such risks where necessary.

Off Site Soil Disposal

Where soil excavation and off-site disposal is required during site development works, characterisation of soil in performed in order to determine the appropriate classification in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Victorian EPA Industrial Waste Resource Guidelines:

  • IWRG621 Soil Hazard Categorisation and Management, July 2009; and

  • IWRG702 Soil Sampling, June 2009.

This way we don’t get contaminated soils being delivered to a new child care development for the kids to play around in. Depending upon the nature of the site and quantities of soil to be disposed of, the characterisation of the soil may be performed either in-situ or following excavation and stockpiling.


Testing the soils for off-site disposal can classify it as what is termed ‘Fill Material’, which effectively means that, chemically at least, the soils are suitable for re-use anywhere. Soils are then graded as to their type and concentration of contaminants detected. These contamination grades, range from least to most severe, are; Category C, Category B and Category A. At AGS we can test and classify soils for off-site disposal and provide the necessary paperwork required for transporting these soils to either another building site, or to a licensed landfill depending upon these results.


Site Characterisation

In accordance with relevant Australian Standards (AS4482.1 and AS4482.2) and the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (NEPM – 1999, updated 2013), soils on-site must be characterised to assist in the determination of the suitability of the site for the current/proposed land use.


Underground Storage Tank Validation

The storage of fuels, heating oil, chemicals, dry cleaners product etc in underground storage tanks (USTs) are one of the most common sources of potential or realised gross anthropogenic contamination. As part of any on-site remediation works, either as part of an Environmental Site Assessment, or performed independently, the excavation and removal of an underground storage tank is vital in assisting the remediation process at the site. AGS can facilitate and manage the removal of the UST, including the removal of any product remaining in the UST, excavator hire for excavation of the UST, disposal of the UST and the disposal of any residual or impacted surrounding soils. After the excavation of the UST and the surrounding impacted soils, validation sampling is then conducted to ensure that all, or as much contaminated material as far as reasonably practicable has been removed from the excavation, and the remaining in-situ soils are not contaminated with respected to the beneficial use of the site.


Further assessment works may be recommended or required, depending on the findings of the validation samples. It is not uncommon for a groundwater assessment to be required, should it be identified that the integrity of the UST(s) had been compromised, and there were potential impacts to the groundwater below.


Soil Gas Assessment

The assessment of soil gas for potentially harmful vapours is becoming increasingly important. These vapours may emanate from nearby disused landfills, from the degassing of volatiles from contaminated groundwater, or from contaminated soils themselves. Accumulation of these vapours within buildings may present an unacceptable health risk to its inhabitants. AGS can provide robust assessment of soil gas tailored to meet each individual sites' needs.