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How Much Does Soil Testing Cost?

Typical Range: $811 - $2,118

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Soil Test Cost

Soil testing costs $1,389 on average with most spending between $811 and $2,118. Garden soil testing costs $10 to $200 per test. Contamination testing, for things like lead, cost anywhere from $15 to $400 each. Environmental sampling, performed by labs, focuses on agriculture and toxins. It reports on what’s in the dirt, such as lead, nitrates, GMOs and overall composition.

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National Average $1,389
Typical Range $811 - $2,118
Low End - High End $400 - $3,600

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 43 HomeAdvisor members in .

Environmental and Soil Contamination Testing Cost

Environmental and soil contamination testing costs $15 to $400 per each individual test. You can purchase test packages for $100 to $3,000. The wide range depends on the size of the land surveyed and types of assessments. It looks at composition and toxins requested individually or in packages.

For example, a small garden next a suburban home testing for just lead contamination costs $15 to $100. In contrast, a 2,000-acre farm might spend thousands for full spectrum heavy metals and chemicals reports.

  • Done mostly by labs. Sometimes need onsite technicians to collect samples.
  • Look at the composition of the ground.
  • Mostly for agricultural purposes.

The following table breaks down the more common types you may want to investigate.

Soil Composition and Contamination Testing Prices
Test TypeAverage Range (depending on specific test)
Heavy metals (lead and other metals)$15 - $200
Volatile and nonvolatile organics$200 - $500
Inorganics$15 - $150
Microbiology$20 - $300
Lawn$15 - $30
Garden and Potting$10 - $75
General Health$50 - $100

Farm and Agricultural Soil Sample Testing

Agricultural and landscape soil surveys for farms, gardens and parks costs anywhere from $7 to $30 or more per sample. You’ll need one for every 20 acres. This means testing the average 450-acre farm costs $160 to $675. Complete soil comp profile reports cost $400 to $1,500+. Fertility testing measures the viability of pH levels and recommendations based on trace elements.

Each type, such as a nitrate test, ranges from $10 to $100. Screenings for toxins and environmental cation tests for farming can range from $30 to $150 each. Expedited services, onsite technicians and lab recommendations incur additional charges from $30 to $300.

University and Soil Testing Lab Cost

Independent labs provide tests for $10 to $400 or more. A la carte services cost $10 to $75 per test. Packages run $50 to $400 or more. For example:

  • A single lead test costs $15-$30.
  • Heavy metal reports range from $100-$250 each.
  • The EPA 8260 soil test costs $100-$200 total.

Some of the more common tests include general health and lead screening for residents. Historic properties may have special requirements depending on local regulations.

Soil Testing Kit Price

Home DIY soil testing kits cost $15 to $200. Some of these provide you with instant results. Others require mailing them to a lab and may have additional report charges.

  • Garden kits: $15-$300. These kits generally report on PH and NPK levels (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium). You can order these online or pick them up at most home improvement stores and garden centers.
  • Lead Kit: $25-$150. These check only for lead.
  • Heavy Metal Kit: $150-$250. These check for other heavy metal contaminants but usually require a lab.

Onsite Technician Labor Costs

Soil technician labor costs add $50 to $200 per hour or $300 to $1,500 per day to your total. Most often, you can skip the labor and DIY it by using sample collection bags from the lab.

ProfessionalPer HourPer Day
Technician$50 - $100$300 - $800
Chemist or Lab Professional$100 - $200$1,000 - $2,000

Testing Material Costs

Material costs range from $10 to $150 depending on the test. For most lab samples, you can use plastic bags or order special bags from the lab of your choice.

DIY Soil Testing vs. Hiring a Pro

For instant results for your garden, a DIY home test kit might be all you need. Or, you can start with a DIY solution. First, use a home kit to screen. Then, move to a lab for a detailed analysis if it comes back positive for heavy metals or other impurities. You can also hire a local soil testing service for gardens and agricultural needs.

FAQs

Why is it important to test soil?

It’s important to test soil during new construction to make sure your home won’t shift after it’s built. Toxin screening makes sure the soil and groundwater is clean. For gardens and agriculture, it’s important to know soil composition for healthy plants and to improve crop yields.

What type of soil test do I need?

The main soil tests you’ll need can be broken down into two categories:

  • Agriculture and garden – determines the suitability for growing crops.
  • Geotechnical testing costs $1,000-$5,000 – determines the suitability for building structures.
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