What does this mean for your tests?
- Fast results—Unique on-site testing
- Full Compliance: EPA Approved for sampling and testing
- Quality Assured: NATA accredited sampling and testing
- Water, Air, Soil
- Professional Advice
- Flexibility: Easy pick-up and delivery options
Sampling is the most important part of any environmental monitoring program. If a sample is not representative of the whole body being monitored, then the results reported on that sample mean very little. Poor sampling techniques can jeopardise the validity of all testing, whether surface or groundwaters, air, or soils.
VGT can undertake your sampling in a cost– and time-effective manner.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) requires that all collection, handling and preservation of environmental samples is carried out to Standards Association of Australia Standards. For surface and groundwaters, the group of standards covering sampling and testing is AS 5667. The air standards have been updated from the AS 2922, and have been renumbered as AS 3580 series.
VGT can also train your staff in correct sampling techniques and organise a courier service for fast pickup and delivery.
VGT are NATA accredited to these Australian Standards for sampling of groundwaters, surface waters and static dust gauges, so you can be assured of full regulatory compliance. Our technicians are also accredited to perform essential testing on-site to allow the fastest possible turn-around times. Search for VGT as a Facility name on NATA's website for more details.
Mobile Water Testing
VGT's innovative NATA-accredited mobile laboratory brings our professional staff and calibrated equipment to your door for a complete service, including the most important part of the testing - the sampling. Based in the Hunter Valley, we can easily travel to sites throughout NSW. A network of couriers is available to service sites around Australia.
A unique service offered by VGT is the analysis of Total Suspended Solids either on your site or in our laboratory in under 60 minutes when required. This test allows sedimentation pond compliance in a rapid time-frame without the risk of correlating turbidity with TSS. This test uses the traditional EPA approved method of filtration, rather than “water quality testing” based on turbidity or other optical methods. Our extensive trials have shown little correlation between optical methods and true Suspended Solids measurement and now laboratory timing need no longer be a factor in your compliance choice: ensure that your results meet EPA approval.
VGT is NATA accredited for:
- Water Sampling
- Total Suspended Solids (Field and Lab)
- pH (Field and Lab)
- Electrical Conductivity (Field and Lab)
- Turbidity (Field and Lab)
- Total Dissolved Solids
- Oil & Grease
- Dust Deposition Gauge Sampling
- Dust Deposition Gauge Analysis (Lab)
- High Volume Air Sampler Filters (Total Suspended Particulates / TSP; PM10; PM2.5)
- Comprehensive range of cost and time efficient analysis using a network of NATA accredited labs.
- Soil, Clay, Sand, ENM, and other Waste Exemption Testing
- Interpretation and comparison of results to standards and guidelines
- Water treatment investigations
- Consulting and Interpretation of Results
Dust In Air
There are several EPA Approved Methods for measuring dust or particulate matter in air. Most licences recommend these tests:
Dust Deposition Gauges
- Measures Insoluble Solids, Combustible Matter and Ash
- EPA Approved Methods AM-19, AS3580.10.1
High Volume Air Samplers
- Measures Total Suspended Particulates (TSP)
- EPA Approved Method AM-15, AS3580.9.3
- A High Volume Air Sampler with Size Selective Inlet
- EPA Approved Method AM-19, AS3580.9.6
VGT is NATA Accredited for all of these tests and for sampling of Dust Depostion Guages
Dust Deposition Guages
Static Dust Gauges or Dust Deposition Guages are commonly used to measure the amount of dust particles which rapidly settle from the air. These particles can be a nuisance by causing a thin layer of dust and dirt to settle on property in the local vicinity. Common sources of such rapidly settling particles are:
- Industrial activities such as minerals processing, bulk materials handling, mining and earth-moving operations;
- Recreational activities such as off-road driving and bike-riding;
- Agricultural activities such as land-clearing, ploughing and mulching; and
- Natural causes including wind-blown dust and bush-fires.
The objectives of ambient monitoring may include:
- Compliance with standards or goals,
- Time trends and patterns,
- Background data to assess the impact of a proposed activity, or
- Data for air quality management strategies and programs.
The gauges are usually placed in locations as outlined in the Australian Standards which determines the type of gauge to use, the selection of the monitoring site, the period of time the monitoring should cover, the position of the sampling inlet, and the way the gauges should be sampled and tested. Static Dust Deposit Gauges are a glass bottle large enough to contain the rainfall for one month, with a glass funnel to collect the rainfall. The size of the bottle and funnel, the height of the stand off the ground, and the distance away from other objects such as trees and buildings, are all specified by the Australian Standards.
The rainfall that is collected during the month is filtered to remove the dust particulates, and the filter paper then dried to give an Insoluble Solids result, generally reported as grams per square metre per month. This is an indication of all the dust particles within a certain size range that fell into that gauge during the month. Particles that commonly contribute to this result include insects, vegetation, algae, and dirt. The Insoluble Solids result is used by the NSW EPA Standard for Air Modelling as an impact assessment criteria to determine whether emissions from a site complies with generally accepted environmental levels. A maximum increase in Annual Deposited Dust of 2g/m2.month over background levels, and a Total Annual Deposited Level of 4g/m2.month are the quoted assessment criteria, although the EPA state that “Assessment criteria must not be used as limit conditions in environment protection licences. Compliance with assessment criteria (i.e. in the ambient air at the boundary of the premises or nearest sensitive receptor) cannot be readily determined for regulatory purposes.”
Other parameters commonly tested on Static Dust Deposit Gauges are Ash and Combustible Matter. The dried filter paper is placed in a furnace and burnt until all Combustible Matter (such as insects, vegetation and algae) are removed and all that remains is the dirt (Ash). The Ash content therefore is a more accurate representation of the impact of industry and earth-moving activities, while the Combustible Matter indicates the amount of organic matter collected in the gauge.