What is a soil test and do I need one?
Also known as a site classification, a soil test identifies the different soil layers below your building site and what load these soils can take (“bearing capacity”). This is normally done by drilling 2 to 3 holes at the site, either with a small vehicle-mounted drilling rig or a handheld drilling rig when there is no vehicle access.
Your builder or architect will then use this information to ensure your building foundations have the right design for your soil type.
Generally, any new construction, including houses, sheds, garages, carports or swimming pools will need a soil test conducted. Often, if you are adding an extension, verandah or second storey addition to an existing building, you will also need to get a soil test done.
What is the process?
Contact us on 0431 733 774, via email at email@example.com or through our website contact form to book your soil test. You can also check out our pricing here. We visit most areas in western and central Victoria at least every fortnight. After booking, we also ask that you send us a copy of your building plans (if available) so that we can be sure we drill in the right place!
The day before your test, we will send you a confirmation text giving an approximate time that we will be on site. Typically, you do not need to be there for us to conduct the investigation (though you can be if you wish). After testing the soils, we then backfill and compact the boreholes, and try to return the site as close as possible to how we found it.
Typically within 2 business days, a Site Classification Report to AS2870 will be emailed to you*. If you have any questions about the findings in the report, we are happy to answer them for you.
* assuming payment has been received by WVST.
What else should I know?
It is important that you identify the location of any buried services at the site (telephone lines, gas, electricity, water, sewer, septic system, etc.) before the investigation, as we don’t want to hit any of these while drilling. You can conduct a Before You Dig query which may help identify where any services are. If in doubt, we can provide you with details of licenced asset locators who can scan the site for service locations. Please note, WSVT reserves the right to not drill in areas of a site where we deem the risk of intercepting buried services as being too high.
While you don’t need to meet us on site, we do need to have access, eg. if there are gates that are normally locked, we will need to make arrangements with you for this.
If you have a dog at the site, we recommend making sure it is locked up, as the rig can be loud and we don’t want to scare them.
If the investigation requires drilling through concrete or asphalt, this may incur extra costs; please contact us directly for a quote in this circumstance.
Benj Beatty BA BSc (Hons.) MPA MAusIMM MAIG is a qualified geologist with 20 years’ experience, during which time he has completed thousands of site classifications across western and central Victoria and southern New South Wales. He currently lives in Ballarat with his family and pets.
Despite his illustrious geological career, Benj claims his greatest achievement was winning “Best Chocolate Cake” at the Euroa Agricultural Show.