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Integrating Resource Management

Acid Sulfate Soils

Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS) can form where inundation of land by fresh or seawater causes oxygen depletion so that organic matter cannot break down in the usual way, but instead accumulates as peat and sulfides. This can become a significant issue in Western Australian, particularly within the Swan Coastal Plain for when such soils are disturbed by drainage, excavation or declining groundwater levels. The reaction of soils with oxygen from air can form sulphuric acid which can in turn release other substances, including heavy metals, from the soil and into the surrounding environment.

Understanding the nature and distribution of Acid Sulfate Soils is an essential feature of planning various land development in low lying areas.

Bioscience is experienced and equipped to facilitate all the steps of ASS assessments as required by planning, environmental and regulatory authorities:

  • Desktop Assessment and Site Inspection

  • Soil Sampling

  • Laboratory Analysis

  • Reporting Results and Management Recommendations

  • Acid Sulfate Management Plans

As well as undertaking all the field work, Bioscience analyses collected ASS samples within our well equipped laboratory at Forrestdale. Our research program has developed test methodology specific to our local conditions, and now accepted by DEC as an inexpensive screening test. This not only saves time and money, but also gives our staff a practical understanding of the analysis techniques and specialised methods required.   

Finally, we provide expert advice, regulatory compliance and ASS Management Plans (if required) in relation to both the Acid Sulfate Soils Guidelines (DEC) and Bulletin 64 - Acid Sulfate Soils (WA Planning Commission) in a comprehensive report.