Soil is the uppermost layer of the Earth’s crust and is the life support system that is biologically active with a porous texture. It serves as the reservoir of water and nutrients and a medium where injurious wastes get filtered and broken down. It is considered as one of the principal substrata of life that participates in the cycling of several elements in the ecosystem. The soil has undergone a thorough evolution through the process of weathering driven by climatic, topographic, geologic and biological factors.
Soil pollution is the contamination of soil due to toxic chemicals called pollutants in such high concentration that it poses a risk to the ecosystem. As indicated by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations it has become a global threat afflicting regions of Asia, Europe, North Africa and Eurasia. The types of soil pollution have been distinguished into two categories by the FAO: specific pollution and widespread pollution.
Specific pollution is usually caused in a small area due to household wastes in cities; waste from an old factory site, illegal dumps, sewage treatment plants and around roadways. In widespread soil pollution, the specific reason is difficult to identify. This might be caused due to the spread of pollutants in the ground, water and air systems cause serious impact on the environment and health.
Creative Analytical Lab & Consultants is NABL accredited and certified by MoEF&CC and have immense experience in testing soil samples from across the nation. Our experts and professionals are experienced and our laboratory is well equipped with high-quality instruments for conducting soil analyses and study.
The objectives of soil testing are:
- Evaluation of fertility of the soil of a district, state or country
- Estimation of available nutrients and the acidity and alkalinity of the soil
Fertility status of the soil is particularly helpful in fertility map that summarises available phosphorus, available nitrogen and available potassium in the soil. This fertility status is depicted as Low, Medium and high on fertility map which can be used for:
- Determination of nutrient requirement in deficient areas.
- Delineating areas that have an excess presence of nutrients (N, Pand K) or is deficient of nutrients.
- Study of changing patterns of the fertility of soil due to agricultural activities for a long period.
The four phases of a soil testing programme include:
- Soil sample collection
- Chemical analysis
- Interpretation of results
- Inference and recommendation
Soil Testing Involves:-
Analysis of Available Nutrients of Soil:- This is done through two types of testing – standard and broad-spectrum. In standard soil analysis, soil nutrients like Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Boron and Sulphur are analysed. A broad-spectrum analysis involves testing of Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Copper in the soil. A broad spectrum of soil analysis provides a better and a nutrient management plan that is comprehensive.
Physico-Chemical Analysis: Soil pH and electrical conductivity are the parameters studied to understand the acidity and alkalinity of the soil and the salinity of the soil. This study indicates the status of the soil and what amendments are required before plantation or any other agricultural activity is carried out.
Biological Analysis: this study helps estimate the Organic Carbon (OC) in the soil. OC plays a major role in the population of soil micro-organisms. The microbes in the soil bring out nutrient recycling, taking them from degrading organisms and making them available to plants. OC also helps in the estimation of availability of nitrogen in the soil.
Soil testing is also done to assess its suitability for a construction project. The soil quality plays a major role in determining the stability of an upcoming structure. Soil testing for a construction project involves:
- Laboratory analysis of soil for compressive strength, shear strength, foundation load, permeability, moisture or density of soil and soil index
- Software analysis
- Technical support