Should I Get Soil Sampling With My Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI)?

You need a Preliminary Site Investigation. The only decision left to be made is if you really should get the soil sample taken, too. We talk with people every day about their PSI decision-making and this is what they tell us.

When To Get Soil Samples Taken with Your PSI

  1. Not every site needs a soil sample taken, even when it needs a PSI (although we usually recommend it). Here’s how to decide.
    1. Is your site considered a risk? Is there a site nearby that is contaminated? Was a nearby site contaminated in the past? Was your site, or anything nearby ever used for an industrial or other high-risk purpose?
    2. Is there likely to be any uncontrolled fill present? This might be contamination from a building or demolition or industrial waste from more than 50 years ago (if you don’t know, then assume the answer may be yes around large cities).
    3. Are you planning a project that could be termed “sensitive use” of the land, such as childcare centres, residential with gardens, public use areas, schools, aged care facility?
    4. Are you pressed for time so there is a risk in being too delayed to do a site visit and then finding out you need soil sampling too (this is far too common, and it is more expensive for consultants to remobilise to visit the site twice).
    5. Do you need to reduce the risk of being liable for any contamination? Taking soil samples is always the best way to reduce the risk of environmental liability.


If in doubt, have the soil samples taken. It creates delays and increases expenses to have them taken later on in the process.

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