Soils Testing

PeakGeo owns several portable soils laboratories. Depending on the testing requirements of individual projects, PeakGeo routinely mobilizes and sets up on-site soils laboratories capable of performing standard soils testing. Standard tests may include moisture-density relations, sieve analysis, moisture content, index density, sandCone density, hydraulic conductivity, free-draining permeability, cylinder-drive density, nuclear density, atterberg limits and visual-manual classifications. Site laboratory conditions are maintained at a temperature of 73.4F - 3.6F (23C - 2C) and at a relatively humidity of 50% - 5% in accordance with ASTM E 171, Standard Laboratory Atmosphere. The cost of on-site laboratories greatly reduces the test-by-test cost and the high shipping cost incurred when shipping large bulk samples.

PeakGeo staff members were the first to move and perform hydraulic conductivity testing of soil liner in the field samples on-site during construction. Our main concerns for performing on-site hydraulic conductivity testing and benefits of testing on-site are as follows:

  1. Remoteness of Landfill Sites. Many overnight delivery services only schedule one pick-up time during the day due to the remote locations of landfills. Having samples ready for shipment and pinpointing the daily pick-up schedule can be unpredictable due to the nature and sequencing of soil liner construction. If a pick-up time is missed, a day of testing time is lost. Even if samples taken from the previous days’ work are sent out the next day on a regular basis, a day of testing would still be lost.
    • Benefit of On-site Testing. Samples are taken directly from the soil liner to the on-site testing laboratory. Samples are processed, prepared, and hydraulic conductivity testing is initiated immediately with no delays for packaging and shipment.
  2. Shipping undisturbed samples. Shipping fragile undisturbed soil samples, even with all packaging precautions, is a risk. Samples are always susceptible to damage, moisture loss, and fracture due to vigorous handling during shipping. In our experience of shipping samples, at least one sample was damaged during shipment on every one of our projects. Losing a sample to damage from shipping cost several days of testing because the damage is usually not detected until the testing phase.
    • Benefit of On-site Testing. Samples are taken directly from the soil liner to the on-site testing laboratory with minimal or no disturbance.
  3. Shipping, Testing and Turnaround Time of Results. A period of several days will pass by the time a sample is taken, shipped, tested, and passing results are received. During this waiting period, the integrity of the soil liner must be maintained. In general, maintaining the soil liner between lifts in the harsh, hot, dry, and windy conditions of the summer construction season will in all likelihood, adversely affect the efficiency of soil liner construction.
    • Benefit of On-site Testing. Receiving preliminary results from samples shipped off site takes a minimum of 72 hours from the time the same was taken. Preliminary results from samples tested on-site can be available within 24 hours from the time the sample was taken. As a final benefit to on-site hydraulic conductivity testing, our field personnel become very familiar with the characteristics of the soil liner material during sample preparation and under test conditions. Permeability tests can also be observed by landfill staff and regulatory agencies

Our portable permeability boards are Models RE-BPVC-9, manufactured by Research Engineering, Inc. Our triaxial and permeability testing board with 9 active buretts for applying cell pressure, pore pressure, and back pressure, are capable of running three separate tests simultaneously. No modifications, for field use, are made to the boards.

Specialized testing such as internal and interface shear strength is subContracted to qualified and accredited testing laboratories, including Foundation Engineering, Cooper Testing Laboratories and TRI Environmental.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us by your preferred method. We can be reached via the telephone at 877-721-4196. Our administrative email address is as follows: If you would like to contact a member of our staff directly, please proceed to our personnel directory.


Throughout the construction phase of this project, Peak’s team of professionals was extremely proficient and diligent in performing the required tasks and responding to key issues during the project. Peak’s hard work and proactive attitude resulted in a project that was completed on time and within budget.

Environmental Engineer
County Public Works Department