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LIMS for Environmental Testing: Contaminated Land Testing

 

Managing ecosystem safety and its effect on public health has become integral to society. Contaminated land analysis has permeated into regulatory frameworks, becoming an essential role in property development, land remediation, environmental protection protocols and many other pollutant risk assessment processes.  

Contamination testing requires impeccable sample management, data precision, and strict quality control. This allows for accurately influenced decision-making of necessary remediation tactics for future land management. 

Streamlining testing workflows at a large scale is paramount to organised data. LIMS for environmental testing has served as a critical tool for contamination analysis specifically. But how does a LIMS ensure accuracy, efficiency, and compliance with regulatory standards?

In this blog we’ll delve into the intricacies of contaminated land testing, it’s growth in popularity since regulation updates and the vital role of a LIMS.

 

What is contaminated land testing?

Contaminated land testing provides stakeholders with vital data needed to evaluate the environmental quality of a site. The process involves the assessment of soil and groundwater samples to identify, quantify, and mitigate any pollutants or potentially hazardous materials found in our environment.

Several risk assessments endorse contaminated land testing, accounting for the assessment of the scale of contamination and prediction of its associated risk to human health, ecosystems, or surrounding communities.

Conducted by government agencies and environmental consultants, landowners and property developers, the practice has become a requirement of several regulatory protocols. This includes environmental protection, property transactions, land remediations, and planning and developmental control procedures. 

In the UK, testing follows the Contaminated Land Regulations which are designed to address various sources of pollution.

Testing accounts for a range of contaminants, including:

  • Organic pollutants: Materials such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and industrial chemicals.
  • Hazardous waste: Such as corrosive acids, flammable solvents, toxic gases, and radioactive materials.
  • Wastewater contaminants: Organic pollutants, heavy metals, and any additional pathogens that could pose a significant risk to water quality.

A thorough analysis of the above offers the information needed to steer future remedial action and ensure safe land management: from soil and groundwater remediation techniques such as excavation, treatment, and containment, to the deployment of continuous monitoring procedures. 

How often is contaminated land testing conducted?

The frequency of contaminated land testing is influenced by various factors. Typically, it is entirely dependent on each project’s specific needs. Factors to consider include:

The land’s history, its previous use, the proximity to potential sources of contamination and individual regulatory expectations.

Some sites may require periodic testing as part of an ongoing environmental monitoring program, while others may undergo testing only when contamination is suspected.

For property transactions or development projects, regulatory adherence includes Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments. These evaluate contamination threats and uncover the degree of analysis required.

 

The need for streamlined testing operations in the lab

Organic pollutants, hazardous waste, and wastewater make up the interconnected facets of environmental contamination. Therefore, to be effectively addressed, land analysis requires an integrated and systematic approach.

The process of environmental analysis can be complex, requiring precise sample management and strict quality control measures to ensure not just regulatory adherence but that the appropriate remedial action will be met.

Any environmental testing laboratory, including soil testing labs, water testing labs, microbiological testing labs or any other appropriate facility must be able to reliably offer compliant testing. This includes accurate data management and demonstratable adherence to standardised procedures.

To accommodate such requirements to a satisfactory and competitive standard, environmental testing laboratories are met with the additional pressures of meeting large-scale demands and tight deadlines.

To effectively manage the demands of contamination analysis, LIMS for environmental testing can provide an automated solution for sample tracking, analytical testing, quality control, and regulatory compliance.

Essentially, LIMS empowers laboratories to deliver accurate and reliable results, efficiently and reliably.

Consider the LIMS as a central process that harmonises your environmental testing laboratory, streamlines your operations, optimises your workflows, and enhances your data management capabilities, whilst simultaneously interconnecting each aspect.

To identify a sufficient LIMS for environmental testing, the solution should focuses on providing three core benefits:

 

1: Improved data accuracy

Integrating your analytical instrumentation into your LIMS will allow for automated, accurate data entry. Not only this, but it will account for regular instrumentation calibration and servicing as well. This will eliminate any chance of human error whilst simultaneously ensuring instrumentation is reliable and consistently compliant. 

This provides ultimate assurance in gathering and managing the exact data results necessary to shape future remediation techniques. Simply put, this ensures that the data that contributes to the safety of our public health and surrounding ecosystems is accurate and reliable.

 

2: Improved stakeholder collaboration

Environmental testing labs and additional contaminated land analysis facilities will require regular collaboration with environmental consultants, regulatory agencies, and additional industry partners to ensure transparency, and accountability to ultimately build a credible business partnership.

A LIMS for environmental testing serves as a collaborative platform, enabling seamless communication, data sharing, and project management updates amongst relevant stakeholders. Take the AIS labPortal for example, which offers a centralised platform to give and share client access to LIMS reports, results and any additional data required for project clarity.

 

3: Automated workflows

Utilising a LIMS will undoubtable streamline the entire workflow. In turn, this helps to guarantee regulatory adherence, optimise laboratory efficiency, and significantly reduce testing turnaround times. Automation can transform various manual tasks such as sample registration, test scheduling, data capture, and results reporting, enhancing overall operational effectiveness throughout the entire sample analysis journey.

A LIMS offers an additional opportunity to incorporate automated procedures that can amplify compliance even further.

AIS’ Analytical Quality Control (AQC) module for example, can be implemented as an additional safeguard framework to automatically review your analytical methods. This monitors accuracy and precision to help to solidify confidence in your results.

 

Discover the AIS LIMS for environmental testing

As environmental challenges continue to evolve, the role of LIMS in contamination analysis remains indispensable. LIMS for environmental testing plays a crucial role in managing the vast amount of data necessary for accurate sample analysis, ensuring regulatory compliance, and streamlining your workflow.

Most importantly, a LIMS will ensure the data captured is correct, reliable and sufficient enough to shape land remediation tactics of the future.

As a LIMS provider which specialises in UKAS and contaminated land regulations, AIS can offer quality data at a fraction of the cost. Our cost-effective LIMS for your environmental testing lab can meet the expectations of stakeholders, business partners and clients without breaking the bank.

To discuss your new LIMS for environmental testing, get in touch with AIS Ltd.

 

Posted by Beth Taylor on 17-Jun-2024)

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