Methane Testing Soil for Construction & Development
Hazardous soil gas has become a growing concern for most building departments in our nation. Methane testing is aimed to determine if combustible soil gas exists under a property or not. This is caused by: (1) natural occurrences; or (2) human anomalies such as pollution. Furthermore, the results of a methane test are valuable for optimizing a mitigation system. An optimized system will cost less to build (and maintain), meanwhile prevents hazardous gas from building-up inside the structures we build. Alternatively, low results of the soil gas test can help eliminate the requirement for mitigation overall!
Recommended Methane Testing Engineers:
Typically, these soil gas hazards come from historical oil fields and landfills. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Guidance for Evaluating Landfill Gas Emissions. Furthermore, the City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety (LADBS) published Site Testing Standards for Soil Gas.
Avoid Construction Delays & Budget Issues
Far too many times, land developers purchase properties without knowing about historical oil and gas wells or landfills onsite. These historical land-uses means the building department flagged the property as a “high methane zone.”
The best advice this forum could provide any developer is: Make sure your environmental due diligence is in place BEFORE you purchase the property. Any site assessment should disclose whether oil wells or landfills are within proximity of the property. And although a soil gas survey isn’t too costly, building a mitigation system can be. Besides, it’s prudent to find out if you need to mitigate or not before buying and building. And if the results come back low, most building departments will waive the requirement to mitigate. If methane testing results do lead to mitigation: Its best to have a cost-estimate for mitigation prepared as early as possible.
By: Nicholas Burton