Standards methods in Soil sampling and sample preparation



A comparative study of various methods of preparation of soils, bottom sediments, and solid wastes for atomic absorption analysis is performed. A procedure of AAS determination of metals in solid samples is proposed with the use of several methods of sample preparation: autoclave, microwave, ultrasound, and method of acidic extraction in open vessels. The recommended conditions of microwave decomposition are given for samples of soil, bottom sediments, rocks, and wastes of processing of copper sulfide ores.


The first stage in soil investigations is to establish clear sampling objectives. These must define why and how samples are being collected, and lead to the formulation of the sampling strategy (eg, where to collect the samples). The sampling objectives will be site specific and depend on the purpose of the investigation (as defined by the DQOs). Common sampling objectives include:

To establish the type and location of sources of contamination

To establish the nature, degree and extent of contaminant distribution (both vertically and laterally

To verify that the contamination on site has been reduced to below an established value (eg, following clean-up of a chemical spill)

To determine the nature of material for waste characterization.

Check clearance of underground and above-ground services

Ensure the availability of suitably trained and qualified site personnel

Review the sampling and analysis plan and obtain the appropriate sampling equipment, including containers from the analytical laboratory and storage containers, and make sample transport arrangements

Check and calibrate field instruments, as necessary

Arrange for sampling equipment decontamination

Arrange for the suitable disposal of excess soil, wash water and any contaminated materials (such as gloves) generated during the works

Ensure the availability and suitability of the required contractors

Prepare a health, safety and environment plan (HSEP), 3 which should include

An assessment of the on-site hazards

Measures to eliminate, isolate or minimise these hazards for the tasks proposed

Emergency response measures

Site-specific training needs

Protective equipment.


This training course will combine presentations with instructor-guided interactive discussions between participants relating to their individual workplace. Practical exercises, video material and case studies aiming at stimulating these discussions and providing maximum benefit to the participants will support the training.

This interactive training course includes the following training methodologies as a percentage of the total tuition hours:

  • 30% Lectures, Concepts, Role Play
  • 30% Workshops & Work Presentations, Techniques
  • 20% Based on Case Studies & Practical Exercises
  • 20% Videos, Software & General Discussions
  • Pre and Post Test


This training course is suitable for a wide range of professionals employed in Chemical Laboratories, but it will be particularly beneficial to:

  • Laboratory managers
  • Scientific personnel of laboratories, like chemists, chemical engineers, environmental engineers, process/shift engineers
  • Laboratory technicians and newly recruited staff of chemical laboratories
  • Instrument operators in chemical laboratories


Day 1

Health, safety and environmental considerations

purpose of the investigation

sampling objectives

information about the site (location, history and conceptual site model with contaminants identified)

sampling pattern and strategy to be used

field screening or on-site testing requirements

location, depth, type and number of samples to collect

sampling method(s) to be used

order of sample collection (where practical, sampling should start at the part of the site suspected to be least contaminated to minimise the possibility of any cross-contamination)

quality assurance / quality control requirements

decontamination procedures

handling and sample preservation requirements

sample transport and holding times

laboratory contact details.


Day  2

The soil-sampling strategy should be consistent with the sampling objectives, and the rationale for the sample pattern chosen must be based on the DQOs. There are three types of sampling patterns commonly used





. Day 3

Field-screening techniques

Field-screening techniques  used before a detailed site investigation, or as part of the investigation strategy. Field-screening methods are used to:

define the soil contamination cost-effectively and assist in limiting the extent of an investigation

 refine the sampling locations

 identify samples to be analysed.

Non-intrusive techniques

Soil-screening techniques

. Day 4

. Collecting a representative soil sample

Number of samples

Sampling depth

Soil-sampling techniques

Composite sampling

Background samples

. Day 5

Sample handling and transport

Chain of custody procedures


Field quality assurance (QA) / quality control (QC)

Field QC samples

Chemical, biological and radiological hazards


  • 08:30 – 10:15 First Session
  • 10:15 – 10:30 Coffee Break
  • 10:30 – 12:15 Second Session
  • 12:15 – 12:30 Coffee Break
  • 12:30 – 14:00 Third Session
  • 14:00 – 15:00 Lunch



 The Fee for the seminar, including instruction materials, documentation, lunch, coffee/tea breaks & snack :