Play Area Soil Sampling

When opening a new child care center or expanding an existing play area, oftentimes soil samples are needed for compliance.

Soil samples are generally required when there is a potential for children to have direct contact with any site contaminants, such as pesticides from historic agriculture use. The potential for direct contact includes play areas constructed on natural grass or topsoil, or having permeable surfacing with a minimal thickness (such as wood chips or rubber pellets).

Samples are also required for areas where contaminants are unknown or not well documented, such as mapped historic fill areas. Whether there’s a potential for direct contact or not, these sites normally need to be sampled.

Typically, at least two samples are collected and analyzed for suspected contaminants. The results, if favorable, are provided in a Site Investigation Report and submitted with the Preliminary Assessment Report in order to meet child care licensing requirements. If contaminants are present, some precautions such as a capped play area need to be installed to eliminate risk.


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