|Step 1: pound the pipe into the ground, up to the 8" mark. (Step 1a: chase the chickens away because they all think that humans working in dirt = treats.)|
|Step 2: Take the vice grips and rotate the pipe around to cut a core of soil. Then pull the pipe back out of the ground, which is much easier with the vice grips still attached.|
|It should be full of dirt. Like this!|
|When we first started this, we were afraid that the pounding and scraping would lead to increased metals from the pipe getting into the soil and messing up the test results. But we took a chance, and the zinc levels (what we would expect to go up the most from using galvanized pipe) were right about at background levels for our area. (All values in the table are in ppm--parts per million, or mg analyte/kg soil.) On the other hand, our selenium levels are off the chart! The level we got was still less than A&L Eastern Lab says is hazardous (that same table appearing in other publications, too, possibly originating from a Cornell report), but more than the level that raises a red flag for UMass, and way above background for our area. Where could that come from (and what should we do about it?) Don't touch that dial--we'll be back with more info in a few days.|
How do you collect your soil samples? Let us know in the comments section below!