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Direct Push Technology (DPT) - When to Use for Soil and Groundwater Sampling

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Why Collect Soil and Groundwater Samples?

At some point you may be faced with the need to investigate a parcel of land. The most direct way to show that a property is free of contamination is to run chemical analyses on soil. First, however, you must collect the soil samples.

Soil samples provide information about potential contamination in surface soil (0-3 feet) that may affect animals and people in residences, and in subsurface soil (3-15 feet) that may affect utility, construction, or excavation workers.

For samples taken from below ground, borings are typically drilled to specific depths where special tools can then be used to collect the soil. The tools are then brought to the surface and samples placed in appropriate containers for testing at an analytical laboratory.

Which Drilling Method is best?

Choosing the best drilling method depends on several factors including soil composition, type of samples, and depth. Two of the most common drilling methods used for soil sampling are direct push and hollow stem auger, which are suitable for most site conditions.

When multiple samples are needed from a wide area in a short time, direct push technology (DPT) is typically your best option. DPT devices are investigation tools that drive or push small-diameter rods into the subsurface by hydraulic or percussive methods.

Direct-push probes may be used to collect in-situ, geophysical, geochemical, and geotechnical measurements. This type of drilling uses percussion and static force to drive steel boring rods into the ground, which allows several samples to be collected quickly across a large area.

Why Choose Direct Push Drilling?

Why is direct push drilling a top choice when taking soil samples?

  • Provides accurate soil profile - bores offer a clean vertical profile of the soils below

  • Offers precise groundwater profiling - bores cut through groundwater layers, allowing for samples to measure the extent of contamination

  • Very low environmental impact - there is no liquid and minimal cuttings involved  

  • Mobility and access - equipment attaches to back of trucks and front of skid loaders, offering ability to enter areas difficult for larger rigs to reach

  • Works well in non-rocky soils - perfect for many soil types that do not contain large gravel or rock formations, such as silt and clay

  • Lower costs - drilling equipment is easy to move and requires fewer operators, providing lower costs than many drilling alternatives

When to Use Alternative Drilling Methods?

In cases where quality or quantity may not meet objectives, alternatives such as different sampling methods (e.g., hollow stem auger) or tool (e.g., wider diameter sampler) should be employed.

Do Firms Offer Both DPT and Hollow Stem Auger?

August Mack Environmental has more than three decades of industry experience using direct push, hollow stem auger, and other methods of drilling. For more information on how we can assist your drilling and sampling needs, visit our field services page here!

Post Date: 6/13/2018

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