Soil Testing Services

Outback Engineering's Soil Testing division provides civil/site-related soil testing services in support of its design and permitting work, as well as consulting services during design and construction for other engineers, developers, contractors and municipalities.  Services include field and laboratory testing related to septic system and stormwater drainage system design, and construction services such as soil compaction and pavement compaction testing.  Outback has DEP-certified Soil Evaluators, qualified engineers and technicians knowledgeable in observing site and roadway construction practices, and an in-house laboratory to perform sieve and Proctor tests.  


Title 5 Soil Evaluation: This is an onsite testing procedure required by DEP to determine soil and groundwater conditions for the design and siting of septic systems.  The evaluation typically requires the excavation of an open hole to observe soil types and groundwater elevations, and to perform a percolation test; in instances where high groundwater conditions persist and a perc test cannot be performed as part of a remedial replacement of a failed septic system, we collect and analyze soil samples in our in-house laboratory according to DEP procedures for Sieve Tests in lieu of perc test.  Outback has a number of DEP-certified Soil Evaluators capable of testing all types of soils, from highly permeable sands to the tightest, less permeable soils; using our experience to carefully perform perc tests in difficult soils, we are often successful in obtaining passing perc tests where others have failed. 


Groundwater Determination: This is often done in conjunction with the Title 5 Soil Evaluation, to properly design the elevation of the septic system.  Groundwater elevations are also important to properly design drainage systems, building foundations and basement elevations, roadways and parking areas, to ensure proper functioning of the systems. Our DEP- certified soil evaluators carefully determine groundwater elevations based on observed water conditions and soil mottling (redoxymorphic features) to establish seasonal high groundwater conditions; when necessary, empirical methods such as the Frimpter method are used to calculate the seasonal high groundwater elevation.  These high groundwater conditions are used by our engineers in site design to ensure septic and drainage systems function properly, and to keep your home and valuable contents high and dry.


Laboratory Tests:  Outback Engineering's in-house lab performs sieve tests and Proctor compaction tests to ensure compliance of engineered soils during construction of septic systems, drainage systems, roadways and parking areas.  Sieve tests are run on soil samples in lieu of perc tests, Title 5 replacement sand, and road gravel according to established laboratory procedures.  We will also perform Proctor tests to determine maximum dry density of sands and gravels as a reference in conducting compaction tests in the field during construction.


Soil Compaction Testing:  Soil compaction is a crucial part of the construction process.  Ensuring proper compaction of in situ and engineered soils is critical to the long-term performance of roadway and parking area asphalt and concrete pavements, as well as proper support of building foundations.  Following ASTM and AASHTO standards, we perform field observations and compaction testing using non-nuclear density gauges to ensure compliance with required specifications and quality assurance. Performing modified proctor tests and sieve tests in our lab allows our field technicians to properly assess field compaction tests based on optimum moisture content and the maximum dry density of soils.


Pavement Compaction Testing:  Similar to the soil compaction test, we use non-nuclear density gauges specifically designed for use on pavement.  Our technicians will follow behind the asphalt paving machine and rollers to ensure pavement is properly compacted.  

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