Acid Sulfate Soil Investigations

Acid sulfate soils is the common name given to naturally occurring soil and sediment containing iron sulfides. When these natural occurring sulfides are disturbed and exposed to air, oxidation occurs, the biproduct of this reaction is sulfuric acid. For every tonne of sulfidic material that completely oxidises, 1.6 tonnes of pure sulfuric acid is produced. This sulfuric acid can drain into waterways and cause severe short and long term socio-economic and environmental impacts.

In NSW, acid sulfate soils have been found in every coastal estuary and embayment between the Victorian and Queensland border. It is estimated that there are over 400,000 hectares of acid sulfate soils in NSW being impacted by existing and new activities.

Most Councils in NSW, have a dedicated Acid Sulfate Soils risk management plan for developments in at risk areas. Your property may be located within an Acid Sulfate Soils risk zone, in which case certain restrictions on your development may apply.

Due to proximity to waterways or coastline, many properties are mapped in an Acid Sulfate Soils Zone. However, not all of these mapped areas present an actual risk of containing the Acid Sulfate Soils. Depending on the specific Councils policy, your block, and the scope of works you are proposing, it may be necessary to eliminate the risk of environmental damage through a preliminary Acid Sulfate Soils Assessment, or more detailed Acid Sulfate Soils Management Plan. 

Contact Ascent Geotechnical Consulting today for expert advice on the Acid Sulfate Soils as it may apply to your specific project.