Note by: Peter Rodd, JacobsGIBB representative on the AGS Committee and Contaminated Land Working Group who attended a meeting of the ISO/TC 190 Committee in Snekkersten, Denmark as the UK representative
The BSI asked the AGS to propose a representative to serve on their TC 190 EH/4 committee that is involved in the harmonisation of standards in the EC and internationally for Soil Quality. The standards being worked on are largely aimed at soil in the soil science sense but soil is defined as all material above bedrock thus geotechnical and contamination issues are also addressed. The BSI required an expert in the physical properties of soil and I was proposed and accepted.
I attended the next meeting of the EH/4 committee in September 2001 and was asked to go to the annual meeting of ISO/TC190, in early October, to represent the BSI and attend the sessions of SC5 (considering physical properties of soil) and its working groups.
JacobsGIBB allowed me the time to attend the Meeting in Snekkersten, a small town about 30 – 40 miles north of Copenhagen. I chose my route to the meeting via Malmo and then by rail over the new double decker bridge (road over rail) between Sweden and Denmark. To my surprise the train went through to Snekkersten (one stop before the end of the line at Helsingor, home to Hamlet’s Castle) without the need to change.
The first session attended was for SC5/WG3 looking at standards for water content. The working group was dealing with two standards. One of these; BS ISO 11461: 2001, Soil Quality – Determination of soil water content as a volume fraction using coring sleeves – Gravimetric method, had been recently issued as a full standard and was not discussed.
The second document, ISO/DIS 16586, Soil Quality – Determination of soil water content as a volume fraction on the basis of known dry bulk density – Gravimetric method, is at a late stage of development. (DIS – Draft International Standard). Comments from member countries were discussed and adopted where appropriate. One issue was a conflict between the two documents – BS ISO 111461 contains a note suggesting that drying at 105oC for samples containing significant organic mater will not greatly affect the result, ISO/DIS 16586 suggests it will. This will be resolved when the recently issued standard comes up for review.
The next session attended was for SC7/WG6. The working group is considering three standards; ISO/AWI 21268-1 Soil Quality – Leaching procedures for subsequent chemical and ecotoxicological testing of soil and soil materials – Part 1: Batch test using a liquid to solid ratio of 2 l/kg dry matter, Part using 10 l/kg and Part3: Up-flow column test.
A large part of the session was taken up with a presentation of results using different extraction procedures. The use of end-over-end shaker or a roller table did not seem to affect the results and so the use of either will be permitted. There did, however, appear to be a system error between the extraction procedures used by the laboratories. As a result further work is required before the standards can move forward. The chairman also asked for feedback from the member countries on the type of containers they recommend. (feedback to PGR please).
(Note feedback on the items discussed should be sent to Peter Rodd firstname.lastname@example.org)