Wet Weight Analysis of Muskeg Soil Samples


The units for CSR soil standards are mg/kg ((mass of contaminant) / (mass of dry weight soil or substrate)). Due to the weight of water, mineral soil with a 20% moisture content would report concentrations of potential contaminants of concern (PCOC) that are 1.25 times greater as a dry weight compared to wet weight. Muskeg commonly has an eighty to ninety percent moisture content resulting in a reported PCOC concentration 5 to 10 times greater as a dry weight compared to wet weight.

SynergyAspen routinely reports PCOC concentrations in muskeg as a wet weight, reducing concentrations by up to 10 times. OGC has accepted SynergyAspen’s wet weight arguments. In 2012, SynergyAspen presented this topic at the Science Advisory Board. In 2013, SynergyAspen’s work was selected by the BC Environmental Management Association and received an award for our work with wet weight analysis.

SynergyAspen obtained over 40 Certificates of Restoration (CoR) Part 1's using wet weight arguments avoiding unnecessary delineation and remediation work. The cost savings were greater than $20,000/site compared to the costs of delineation and remediation of a falsely identified contamination.