Contaminated Land Guidance

AGS Guidance on the Description of Anthropogenic Materials – A Practitioners’ Guide

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Published 3rd September 2018

BS:5930:2015 and BS EN ISO 14688-1 provided the basis for the description of soils in the UK; however, it provides limited guidance on the description of made ground and anthropogenic soils, which has led to an inconsistent approach in the description of these materials within the contaminated land industry. The accurate and consistent description of such soils is of vital importance to provide an indication of the geotechnical properties of these materials, as well to indicate their potential for contamination and to generate potentially hazardous ground gas.

This guide aims to provide a simple standardised approach to the description of anthropogenic materials in the form of a flow chart that can be widely adopted and laminated for use on site, as an aid memoir. The basis of the description follows the BS:5930 approach where possible, whilst broadening it to cover materials which may be encountered which fall beyond the scope of the grain sized based BS:5930 description.