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Geotechnical Engineering B

Site Investigation
BS 5930: 1999






1.1 Cost of Site Investigation
Desk Study
2.1 Geological Surveys - Maps
Site Reconnaissance
Ground Investigation
4.1 Trilpits
4.2 Hand Auger Boreholes
4.3 Light Cable Precussion Boring
4.4 Mechanically Augered Boreholes
4.5 Rotary Open hole Drilling
4.6 Rotary Core Drilling
Sampling Methods
5.1 Disturbed Samples
5.2 Undisturbed Samples
5.3 Water Samples
5.4 Standard Penetration Test
Geophysical Surveys
6.1 Types of Geophysical Surveys

Contaminated Land Reclamation

7.1 Methods of Site Investigation and Procurement

1. Introduction
Site Investigation BS5903: 1981
Main objectives of a site investigation are:


To determine the changes that may

arise in the ground &
environmental conditions
(naturally or as a result of
work) on adjacent works &
environment in general

To assess the general suitability of

the site and its surroundings for the
proposed work

To enable an adequate & economic
design to be prepared, including
the design of temporary works

To plan the best method of
construction (avoiding difficulties
& delays due to ground or local
To explore sources of indigenous
material for use in construction
Select sites for the disposal of
waste & surplus materials

Effect of changes

Choice of site
Where alternatives exist, to advise
on the relevant suitability of
different sites or different parts of
the same site.

In addition site investigation may be

used to report upon the safety of existing
works, the design of extensions, for
investigating cases where failure has
occurred, etc.

1.1 Cost of Site Investigation

Cost varies enormously depending on the nature of the project
Typical Site Investigation Costs
% Total Costs % Foundation Costs

Principle of any site investigation

is that it is continued until the
ground conditions are known &
understood well enough for Civil
Engineering work to proceed

This principle should be applied almost regardless of cost

A doubling of the site investigation budget will only normally add < 1% to the project cost
But after an inadequate site investigation, unforeseen ground conditions can, and frequently
do, raise projects costs by 10% or more

One third of construction projects are delayed by ground problems

Unforeseen ground conditions are the main cause of piling claims
Half of over-tender costs on roads projects are due to inadequate site investigation or
poor interpretation of the data

You pay for a site investigation whether you have one or not

2. Desk Study
Search through relevant maps &
documents in order to learn as much
about the site & its surroundings as
1. Geological surveys maps
Both solid and drift maps types of soil; dip &
strike of the stratum; the location & throw of
major faults and the presence of geological
Geological handbooks detailed information on
rock & soil descriptions

2. Hydro-geological maps
Information on rivers, groundwater profile,
major aquifers & existing wells
3. Ordnance Survey maps
Topographical features of the site; information
on rights of way; points of historical interest;
mashland; rivers, etc also used to establish the
grid reference for the site required to locate the
site on geological & hydro-geological maps
4. Historical maps
Old ordnance Survey maps & other ancient
maps of the area can provide a wealth of
information on the previous uses of the site
information is present at the local library

3. Ordnance Survey maps - Historical maps






Lancs - CIV-12, 1:2500

Lancs - CIV-SE, County
Series 6,

The site is predominately occupied by St Francis

RC Church, and a Franciscan Friary. To the east
and west boundaries of the site school buildings
and associated grounds are located. The southern
boundary of the site is Gorton Lane.

A Gas Plant Works is located to the east of the site.

Beyond this a railway line runs approximately
north west, south east. To the east of the railway
line the land appears to be open fields with some
housing. A Chemical Works is located to the north
east of the site, after which Corn Brook flows from
east to west. Beyond Corn Brook and the railway
line is an Engine Shed and Ashburys Sidings
(railway). A school is located adjacent to and
outside the south eastern corner of the site.
Adjacent to the school domestic housing is present
along Napier Street. Domestic housing is also
present to the south and west part of the site.
Beyond the houses to north west of the site is a
corporation yard.

and 1923

Lancs - CIV-12, 1:2500

Lancs - CIV-SE, County
Series 6,

No significant change.

The Chemical Works has been replaced by a Motor

Works, which adjoins the Gas Plant works. Some
of the houses on Napier Street have been
demolished and buildings associated with the motor
works have been built in their place. A small
reservoir is located to the east of the gas plant
A Parochial Hall is located to the north of the site.

and 1933

Lancs - CIV-SE County

Series 6 and
Lancs - CIV-12, 1:2500

No significant change.

The Crossley Motor Works building is shown to

encompass the Gas Plant Works. The Gas Plant
Works, including the small reservoir, are no longer
shown. The land to the east of the railway, is shown
as an athletics ground. A school is now shown with
the Parochial Hall, beyond which is a tennis court.


Lancs - CIV-SE, County

Series 6,

No significant change.

The domestic houses to the west of the site have

been redeveloped, which is now shown as Compton


SJ8796NE, 1:1250

A school is shown to the north eastern part of the

site. Otherwise no significant change.

The building formerly shown as Crossley Motor

Works is now indicated as a Raw Cotton Storage
Warehouse. A reservoir is shown adjacent to Corn
Brook to the east, beyond the railway. The tennis
court is no longer shown.


SJ89NE, 1:10560

No significant change.

No significant change.


SJ8696-8796 1:2500

No significant change.

No significant change.


SJ89NE, 1:10560 and

SJ8796NE, 1:1250

The area formerly occupied by the school in the

south eastern corner of the subject site is now shown
as part of the St Francis
R C Youth Club. Otherwise no significant change.

The Warehouse layout remains the same but the

building on the site is indicated as an Engineering
Works. The school located adjacent to and outside
the south eastern corner of the site is no longer
shown. St Francis RC Secondary school is shown to
the north of the site.


SJ89 NE, 1:10000

No significant change.

The building layout remains the same but the

Engineering Works is now shown as Works.


SJ8796NE, 1:1250

No significant change.

To the north east and east of the site the building

shown as Works has been cleared. A Garage is
now located in this area, to the east of the site. A
structure, presumed to be a forecourt, is shown
along Gorton Lane.


SJ89 NE, 1:10000

No significant change.

No significant change.


SJ89 NE, 1:10000

The school located to the north eastern part of the

site is no longer shown.

No significant change.

5. Aerial photographs
Stereo pairs of photographs can be used for
topographical mapping used for identifying
ancient slope failures; land forms
Care must be taken in heavily wooded areas as
the tree canopy can mask the surface features
Infra-red photography can detect active landfill

6. Mining activity
British coal can provide details of coal mining in
the area of the site (grid reference)
Indicate the depth and extent of mining &
comments on the prospect of future mining in
the vicinity
Ancient mines may be present but not
Details of other mining activity e.g. flint mines
(Norfolk) , tin mines (Cornwall), etc can be
obtained from other publications or public

7. Open-cast mining and quarrying

Information is obtained from the local authority
planning office and / or in the local library
A study of old Ordnance Survey maps can help
to chart the development of the mine
8. Waste tips
Local authority dealing with waste management
will have information on all known landfill sites.
It is a planning regulation that all sites within
250m of landfill must be checked for the
presence of landfill gasses (methane & carbon

9. Public utilities
The location of all services should always be
established prior to the commencement of any
10. Previous use
If possible the previous use of the site should be
Industrial use should be investigated thus may
give an indication of potential hazards on the site
due to contamination

2.1 Geological Surveys - Maps

A plan or map is a means by which the relative positions of surface features may be
shown to a scale in the horizontal plane.
In the production of a plan of a part of the earths surface all differences of altitude are
eliminated by reducing linear measurements to their horizontal equivalents (e.g. a
photograph taken vertically down from an aeroplane).
If the difference in altitude between points is required, a cross section can be drawn
which will show the surface profile of the slice of ground.
In order to achieve this, the plan requires a series of spot heights or contours. This
is illustrated in the example given below.
Example 1 From the contour plan shown, below,
draw the cross section A-B

Vertical scale









Geological survey maps are topographical maps overprinted

with geological data
These maps record the distribution of rocks and deposits at the surface.
There are two types of geological map, these being known as the solid or
drift editions.

Drift Maps

Drift maps show the distribution of rocks and engineering soil at the surface.
They include the more recent deposits of alluvium, peat, terrace gravels,
marine and estuarine deposits, glacial deposits (boulder clay, etc.), made
ground (where large areas exist) and areas of landslips.
In addition, the outcropping rock is also shown.
These maps are particularly useful as they provide information to the Engineer
on soils likely to be encountered in shallow excavations.
They are, therefore, used to assist in the design of site investigations, and
route surveys for new roads, airports etc.

Solid Geological Maps

These maps only show the solid geology, stripped of all superficial deposits.
Whilst they are reasonably accurate where the solid geology outcrops, they
tend to be less accurate where they are covered by a thickness of drift.
It should be appreciated that these maps are produced by Geologists, and not
Therefore, the geological sequence has been categorised in terms of
geological time, generally using fossil evidence, and not necessarily rock
This can lead to difficulties of interpretation for engineering purposes.
For example, a strata shown on the map as a single colour, suggesting a
single rock type, may comprise mudstones varying from massively
bedded to shaley

Key to Geological Shading

Site Reconnaissance
1. Tree cover

Chalk or limestone = treeless

Conifers = dry
Deciduous = wet
Willows = very wet
If trees are to be removed problems the
ground water may be encountered

2. Vegetation
Changes in vegetation on site often indicates a
change in the soil conditions
3. Slopes
If trees are not vertical, unstable slopes should
be suspected.
Tension cracks at the crest of the slope
Bulging of the soil at the toe
Old landslide areas are often characterised by
undulating slopes
4. Groundwater
Signs of water such springs, shallow water table,
flooding, etc

5. Strata conditions
An indication can be obtained from an inspection
of any excavations or cuttings in the area
6. Obstructions
Overhead cables
7. Existing buildings
Should be examined & any defects which may be
associated with ground conditions should be noted.

4. Ground Investigation
The object of ground investigation is to:
Establish the strata profile in terms of a detailed log of
the soil or rock
Obtain accurate information relating to the water table
Acquire suitable samples to enable visual classification &
laboratory testing of the soil or rock
Undertake appropriate insitu tests & measurements as an
alternative or as a supplement to laboratory testing.
Provide a report on the factual information derived from
the fieldwork
Provide a report on the interpretation of the data with
respect to the proposed development

In order to fulfil the first three objectives it is necessary to

excavate some form of hole in the ground. The more common
methods include:

Hand auger boreholes
Light cable percussion (shell & auger)
Mechanical auger boreholes
Rotary open hole drilling
Rotary core drilling

4.1 Trialpits
Most simple method of ground Detailed information on the strata
revealed at shallow depth (as ininvestigations
fill data or investigation in its
Manually or by the use of a
own right)
back acting mechanical
Examples investigations of
highways, car parking areas,
floor slabs, installation of
Depths of 3m
services, house foundations, etc
No one should enter any
Use for assessing case where
unsupported excavation
failure has occurred

Advantages and Disadvantages of Trialpits as a Method of

Investigation are:

No specialist equipment is
Detailed visual inspection of the
strata is possible
Bulk disturbed samples of
specific horizons can be obtained
They demonstrate how material
will behave during construction
(particularly with respect to
ground-water and excavation
Excavation of hand dug trialpits
in confined areas is possible

Limited depth of
Difficulties of
excavating granular
soil below the water

4.2 Hand Auger Boreholes

Another simple method of ground investigation is by the use of
hand augers which are capable of forming shallow boreholes in
cohesive soils
The depth of penetration is dependent on
the strength of the operator & the nature of
the soil
Difficult to use temporary casing during
boring ground has to be self supporting
can not use in granular soils below the
water table



Light weight equipment,

transported in boot of car
Ability to operate in
confined locations

Limited depth of investigation

Slow penetration in stiff clays
or sands & gravels
Unable to penetrate
obstructions, including roots
of significant size

4.3 Light Cable Percussion (Shell & Auger) Boring

Drilling rig comprises an

A frame with top pulley
wheel & motorised winch
The winch is arranged
such that the cable can be
pulled in using the motor,
but is free to fall when the
clutch is disengaged

The method of advancing a borehole in cohesive & granular deposits are different,
(both methods rely on dropping drilling tools down the hole
& retrieving the soil from the tool)

Cohesive soil

The clay cutter (or cross cutter)

and its sinker bar is dropped
into the soil.
The tool is then slowly
withdrawn from the borehole
The soil wedged in the tool is
cleaned out using a clay spoon
forced through the slot in the
side of the clay cutter

Granular soil
The shell is used to advance the borehole
The shell comprises an open ended steel
tube with a one way flap valve (clack) at
its base
Method of operation is to ensure that the
temporarily cased borehole is full of water
then surge the shell up & down in the base
of the borehole
On the up-stroke the clack is closed thus
the soil in the base of the borehole is lifted
into suspension, to be collected by the shell
on the down stroke
The case will follow the shell down the as
boring proceeds
The casing can also be driven into place by
placing a drive bar through the drive head
& slotted sinker bar

Cohesive soil

No need for temporary casing

Maximum borehole depth is the length of cable on the winch

Granular soil

Need for temporary casing

Maximum depth of the borehole is normally limited by the capacity of the winch to
pull the casing out of the ground
The winch has to be capable of lifting the dead weight of the casing & overcome the
friction between the casing & surrounding soil
Winches are commonly 1.5 or 2 tonne capacity pulling power can be increased to
about 10 tonnes by the use of pulley blocks
Above this level of pull there is a risk of collapsing the A frame of the rig
If casing becomes stuck it is possible to use a pair of high capacity jacks which push
against a clamp a the top of the casing
To overcome this problem start the borehole using large diameter casing & tools,
reducing their size as drilling proceeds
Usual casing diameters are 450mm, 300mm, 200mm & 150mm

The drilling equipment is robust & the method of boring appears to be

simple. However, great skill is required to drill efficiently & the accuracy
of the data obtained is largely repentant on the skill of the operator

Most common method of sinking boreholes through soil in this country.

Disturbed & undisturbed samples can be taken, insitu tests (e.g. SPT)
performed & ground water observations made.
Prior to back-filling the borehole other instruments may be installed (e.g.


Boreholes can be sunk to
considerable depth
Disturbed & undisturbed samples
of the underlying soil can be
readily obtained
Drilling progress can be
reasonable, up to about 20m/shift
Inflows of groundwater can be
monitored & insitu permeability
tests undertaken
Instrumentation can be installed
in the completed borehole

Fines can be lost due to the

process of drilling with a shell,
thus samples may not be
Unable to penetrate significant
obstructions (e.g. large concrete
blocks in fill) or rocks

4.4 Mechanical Augured Boreholes

Comprises of a rotary drilled borehole, using continuous flight augers

Augers are driven from above using hydraulic motor (top drive rig)
Vary in size from truck mounted drills to small highly portable units


Very fast method of drilling

holes in cohesive deposits
Installation of instruments in
cohesive soil can be simple


Not suitable for gravels &

Disturbed samples only
Difficult to determine depth of
strata changes, etc
Unable to detect macro
structure of the soil
Unable to penetrate significant

In view of the above limitations this method is not normally recommended.

However, a development of the system known as hollow stem augering is
proving very useful, especially in the area of contaminated land

It comprises a continuous
flight auger with a hollow
central stem
The stem is used to
advance the borehole and
provide temporary casing.
Undisturbed samples can
be obtained from a nonrotating internal steel tube
in transparent plastic liners
Sampling, testing &
installation can be
undertaken down the
centre of the auger at all
stages of the borehole


Relatively expensive method


Hollow stem auger provides temporary

Continuous near undisturbed sample of strata
Installation of instrumentation is simple
Technique minimises contact between driller
& potentially contaminate soil
Boreholes can be extended by rotary open
hole or core drilling techniques

4.5 Rotary Open hole Drilling

Fast & simple method of drilling a
borehole in rock
Drilling rigs come in a wide range
of sizes & can be top drive as
used for augered boreholes or
chuck driven which are slower in
Chuck driven rig the drill rod
passes through the rotating chuck &
downward pressure is applied by
independent feed rams
Progress is achieved by using
various types of drill bit

The cutting from the borehole are

returned to the surface by pumping air,
water, drilling mud, foam or bentonite
down the centre of the rod through the
drill bit & up the borehole
The flush material gives no indication of
the structure & strength of the rock
However, open hole drilling is used for
rapid penetration
Use is therefore limited establishing the
presence of voids or mine audits
Highly fractured ground can also be
detected as loss of drilling fluid is likely
to occur
With water flush the returns can be
examined to determine the geological
constituents of the rock
Open hole drilling can be used to
determine the boundaries between rock

Advantages and Disadvantages of Rotary Open Hole

Drilling are:


Very fast method of forming

Suitable for installation of some
Useful if investigating for the
presence of voids, mine audits,


Only chip or dust samples

available therefore
comprehensive rock
descriptions not possible

4.6 Rotary Core Drilling

As with rotary open

hole drilling top drive
& chuck driven rigs
may be employed
Top drive rigs tend to
be less powerful, but
fast in operation than
the chuck driven
In both case the rock
core is obtained via a
There are a number of
different types of core
Typically double tube
core barrels of the type
are employed


Only practical method of

obtaining rock core at
Cores obtained are
suitable for laboratory
testing (uniaxial
compression or point
Using impression packers
the orientation of the
fractures & bedding can
be determined


Method is relatively slow

& expensive
Careful interpretation of
recovered core is required
Not suitable for drilling in
Contamination by drilling
fluids can occur

5. Sampling Methods
Prime concern of the engineer is to ensure that the samples taken
during the ground investigation are representative of the material
under consideration
Standard methods of sampling can be formulated but it is important that
engineering judgement is also used



5.1 Disturbed Samples

Disturbed samples are bags (or small jars) of
soil taken from the trialpit or borehole
Such samples are use for identification
purposes & classification tests
They are not usually suitable for establishing
the engineering properties of the soil
The size of the sample will depend on the
nature of material and the tests required
Sands & gravels 25kg
Silts & clays 15kg

5.2 Undisturbed Samples

The most common method

of obtaining undisturbed
samples is the 100mm
38mm diameter open drive
Smaller diameter samplers
are usually driven by hand
often within trialpits or hand
augered boreholes
The 100mm diameter
sampler is generally used if
Light percussive boreholes
& is driven using a sliding
hammer with sinker bar

5.3 Water Samples

Samples of groundwater should be taken in
clean watertight containers from each location
Care must be taken to ensure that the samples
are not contaminated in any way

5.4 Standard Penetration Test

The SPT is used to assess the

engineering properties of
granular soils

SPT pushing rob into ground

Metal rob (20mm to 80mm)
dropping a 63.kg hammer
through 760mm
number of blows (N) for a
penetration of 300mm
from N settlement of
foundations constructed on
granular soils can be calculated
A number of methods of
analysis - the most suitable two
are: [1] DAppolonia et al
(1970) [2] Parry (1971)

Site Investigation Example

Samples N value


1 of 1

Description of strata


How many boreholes, How deep?

Spacing: building
10-30m apart



Loose, light brown SAND

(b = 16.8kN/m3)




Medium, dense, brown gravelly SAND

(b = 17.0kN/m3 and sat = 20.0kN/m3)







50 for

Firm to stiff, yellowish-brown, closely

fissured CLAY of high plasticity
(sat = 19kN/m3 and mv = 0.1 m2/MN)

Very dense, red, silty SAND with

decomposed SANDSTONE
Red, medium grained, granular,
SANDSTONE, thickly bedded

Boring method: Shell & Auger to 14.6m

Rotary Core Drilling to 17.7m

30-300m apart


at least 5 in line for profile

1.5 x foundation width, belwo founding depth,

plus at least one deeper control hole to 10m
below foundation unless rockhead found; 3m
belwo rockhead to prove sound; rock probes
to 3-10m to locate rock cavities.



road line

on site
Light percussion, soil <10m deep 200
>10m deep 200
Probing in rock or soil
Rotary coring in rock
Trial pits, 4m deep, backfilled

+ per hole + per m

150 for 3 pits

Example 1: Calculate the moisture content for the following:





w1= mass of container (g)

w2 = mass of container & wet soil (g)
w3 = mass of container & dry soil (g)

w = wet mass dry mass x 100%

dry mass

wA = (23.4 22.8) x 100%


= 7%

wB = (24.2 23.6) x 100%


= 6%


w2 w3
w3 w1

Example 2: In a core-cutter test a steel cylinder having a mass of 1472g, an internal diameter
of 102mm and a length of 125mm was rammed into an in-situ soil mass. After removing it and
trimming the ends flat, its mass was found to be 3482g. Determine the bulk and dry densities.
(Mg/m3) and the natural moisture content (%).

Bulk density


Moisture content of sub sample

Mass of tin
Mass of tin + wet soil 167.72g
Mass of tin + dry soil 147.45g

Mass of soil
Volume of core cutter

3482 1472 g
1000kg 1000 Mg

1.02 103 m3

= 1.97Mg/m3

Moisture content (w)

w = wet mass dry mass x 100%
dry mass
w = (167.72 147.45) x 100% = 15.7%





mm = m


Volume of sample

Dry density d

= 1.02x10-3m3
Dry Mass of soil

Volume of core cutter

Amount of water = (3482-1472)g x 0.157 = 315.57g

Dry mass = 2010g 315.6g = 1694.43g

1694.43 g
1000kg 1000 Mg = 1.66Mg/m3

1.02 10 3 m3

Example 3: when a sand-pouring cylinder was used in a field density test the mass of sand run
into the hole was found to be 1568g. The mass of soil initially removed from the hole was
1942g and its moisture content found to be 16.4%. If the density of the pouring sand was
1.65Mg/m3, calculate the bulk density.
Volume of hole = volume of sand poured into hole

Mass of sand
Volume of hole
Density of sand
Bulk density b

1568 10 6


Mass of soil removed from hole

Volume of hole

1942 g
1000kg 1000 Mg

0.950 10 3 m3

Dry density d

= 2.04 Mg/m3


1 w
1 .164

= 1.75 Mg/m3

= 0.950x10-3 m3

6. Geophysical Surveys

Involves the remote sensing of

physical property of the ground using

instruments on the ground
Passive methods
Gravity & Magnetic methods
Measure earth properties (local
Induction methods

Seismic, Electrical,
Electromagnetic & Radar surveys
Send a signal into ground & pick it
up again nearby
Interpretation of geophysical surveys
require some borehole data
Either to calibrate profiles or to
test-drill for inconsistencies

Geophysical surveys have two

main uses:
Filling in detail between
Searching a large area for
inconsistency before
Low cost compared with

6.1 Types of Geophysical Surveys

Ground Probing Radar (GPR)
Trolley-mounted transmitter &
Transmits pulses of electromagnetic
energy at microwave frequencies
(50-1000MHz) in the subsurface
Receiver measures the amplitude &
travel-time of the return signals.
Tow behind a car
High cost equipment
Limited depth of penetration (1020m in dry sands 1-3m in wet clay)

White areas =
strong reflection =
buried metallic
features or voids


Distance along survey line

Electrical Surveys
The resulting
gradient is
measured by
another pair
of electrodes

Measurements are
made by passing an
electrical current
into the ground


Increase spacing of
both current &
potential electrodes
in order to increase
the depth of the

2D Resistivity
Uses an array of electrodes connected by multicore cable
Switching of the current & potential electrode pairs is done automatically by
using a laptop computer and relay box
Resistivity against depth is very quickly obtained along the survey line
64 electrode array; electrode spacing 2m; maximum depth obtained 20m (but only 1 reading)

Blue = low
Red = high

Data recorded on a seismograph

downloaded to a computer
plot travel-time vs distance


Seismic Surveys
Refraction Profiling

Geophones detect
wave arrivals

Low cost

boundary wave

Low speed

High speed

Measurement of
the travel time of
sound waves
refracted at the
interface between
layers of different

Seismic Surveys
Reflection Profiling
detect wave

Shots are made at

different positions
in relation to the
geophone array

Measurement of twoway travel time of

sound waves from
the surface &
reflected back to the
surface interface
contrast in the

Magnetic surveys
Records distortions of
Earths magnetic field
Easy to use 1 man
operation 10 seconds per

Electromagnetic Surveys
Similar to a large metal
Low cost equipment
1 man operation
High conductivity = clay
Low conductivity = sand
Used to map shallow lateral

Gravity Surveys

Variations in Earths
gravitational force
Ten minutes per station
High cost delicate instrument

-ve values =
underground voids
(cave or mine)

Geophysical Survey Costs


Gravity survey
Magnetic survey
Electromagnetic survey
Ground probing radar
Semismic refraction

0.2 ha on 4m grid
0.5 ha on 3m grid
0.5 ha on 3m grid
700m of line profile
6 soundings to 20m deep
1 cored hole 10-20m deep

Assessment of Difficult ground

Ground Subsidence
Soft Ground
Cavity Search
Rockhead Relief
Mined Ground
Shaft Search
Slope Failure

7. Contaminated Land Reclamation

7.1 Methods of Site Investigation and Procurement
(Page 2) Specific details of the techniques
for site investigation can be found in:
BS5930 (for conventional site investigation,
including description and classification of soil
DD 175:1998 Code of practice for investigation
of potentially contaminated sites produced by
the British Standards Institution (replaces DD1
ICRCL 59/83 Guidance on the redevelopment of
contaminated land 2nd Edition 1987.

Page 2
The dilemma facing the client / consultant is .
How much can I afford to pay for the investigation short-term?, and
How much might it cost me long-term if I do not carry out
sufficient work?
Page 3
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF)
in the UK produced a consultative document in June 1998
for the development of a set of indicators for sustainable
State Indicator,
Driving Force Indicator, and
Response Indicator,

Page 3
defines a minimum code of practice for investigation design, field
sampling, sample handling and analysis of samples from such sites.
Inputs on human health and the environment are examined by
consideration of the classic..
Source > Pathway > Receptor > Scenarios
Source; presence of substances hazardous to health
Pathway; viable route whereby hazardous substances reach receptors
Receptor; persons who may be exposed to the hazardous substances

Page 4

Revised DD175:1998 Format

Clause 0;
Clause 1;
Clause 2;
Clause 3;
Definitions (reproduced below)
Clause 4;
Clause 5;
Strategy for the investigation
Clause 6;
Preliminary investigation
Clause 7;
Design and planning for field investigations
Clause 8;
Field work implementation
Clause 9;
Off-site analysis of samples
Clause 10;
Annex A
Health and safety in site investigations
Annex B
Annex C
Example objectives for an investigation

Definitions from Clause 3 are given here:


Page 4 & 5

The presence of hazardous substances in sufficient concentration to have the potential to cause harm
2. Sampling
The methods and techniques used to obtain a representative sample of the material under investigation
3. Source
Location from which the contamination is, or was, derived (May be the location of the highest soil or groundwater
concentration of the contaminant(s) identified)
4. Pathway
Mechanism or route by which a receptor is being or could be, exposed or affected by an identified contaminant
5. Target See receptor below
6. Receptor
Person, living organisms, ecological systems, controlled waters, structures, and utilities that may adversely affected by the
7. Hazard
Inherently dangerous quality of a substance, procedure or event
8. Harm
Means harm to health of living organisms or other interference with ecological systems of which they form part and, in the
case of humans, includes harm to property
9. Risk
The nature and probability of the occurrence of an unwanted adverse effect on human life or health or on the environment
10. Risk Assessment
The process of establishing, to the extent possible, the existence, nature and significance of risk
11. Controlled Water
Inland freshwater (any lake, pond or watercourse above the freshwater limit), water contained in underground strata and
any coastal water between the limit of highest tide or the freshwater line to the 3 mile limit of territorial waters (see
Section 104 Water Resources Act 1991)
12. Hotspot
An area of contamination identified by markedly higher concentrations of contaminants than the surrounding ground

Page 6

An unofficial extension of this table became quite commonly used by consultants;

Area of Site

Minimum number of
sampling points

Approx. Grid
Spacing (m)