Home > Services We Offer > Services We Offer by Sample Type > Sediment and Tissue > Sediments


Programmatic Support for Sediment Testing

Sediment can be a repository and potential reservoir for persistent and bioaccumulative organic and inorganic contaminants. Many of these contaminants can biomagnify in the food chain and may have a significant ecological and human health risk effect.

Sediment management decisions are often made within a complex regulatory arena. No single government agency is completely responsible for addressing the problem of contaminated sediments. More than 10 independent federal laws provide authority to address sediment quality issues to EPA, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other federal, state and tribal agencies.

How Can TestAmerica Help You?

Sites vary in their size and complexity. Our experience has proven that to successfully provide sediment testing support, projects require detailed pre-project scope definition, planning and execution. Sediment sites often involve more than one medium, including surface water, tissues, pore water, groundwater, and soils. These sites potentially involve multiple contaminants of concern from a variety of sources, geographic areas and ecological settings. TestAmerica’s sediment program standards identify systematic laboratory procedures that address the complexities and challenges associated with sediment projects. These standards provide the technical framework for our sediment laboratories to deliver the highest levels of scientific and service performance in the environmental testing industry.

TestAmerica has extensive experience providing chemical and physical testing services in support of sediment projects nationwide. These projects have been executed within various US EPA Regions, USACE Districts, as well as under various state and local governmental agencies. Guided by industry leading expertise and unmatched laboratory capacity, TestAmerica’s goal is to generate analytical data that meets project specific data quality objectives, thereby facilitating appropriate sediment management decisions.

There are many challenges that our customers may face when working with sediment samples. Many of those challenges, as well as the impact on the data and TestAmerica's proposed solutions, are outlined in the table below.

Testing Challenges

Potential Sediment Project Impact

TestAmerica’s Solutions

High moisture content of whole sediment samples

Elevated reporting limits, potentially exceeding project target limits when results are dry weight corrected

Programmatic strategies for mitigating impact of high moisture on reporting limits

Limited sample volume and/or mass

Increased sampling costs or elevated reporting limits due to limited sample size

Analytical modifications that compensate for small sample volume/mass resulting in lower levels of detection

Complex matrix interferences, including target and non-target compounds of concern

Elevated reporting limits, potentially exceeding project target limit requirements due to sample dilutions

Project specific sample organic extract cleanup strategies reducing both target and non-target interferences

Ultra-low reporting limits required to meet regulatory or risk-based criteria

Data not meeting project targeted reporting limits

A continuum of analytical procedures from routine to ultra-low sensitivity for a wide variety of contaminants of concern

Non-routine contaminants of concern required to meet project objectives

Incomplete data set or qualitative data provided based on tentative identification of compounds utilizing a library search

Expanded compound lists as part of standard analytical method utilizing traditional analytical approaches, such as GC with various detectors and GCMS

Emerging contaminants of concern requiring non-traditional testing

Incomplete data set, avoidable cost, delays and reporting issues associated with subcontracting of analytical services

In-house support of emerging contaminants of interest utilizing specialized analytical approaches LC/MS/MS and HRGC/HRMS

Compressed, logistically challenging sampling campaigns

Sampling schedules and budgets compromised

Unmatched program capacity with strategically  nationwide TestAmerica Sediment Laboratories

 To learn more about TestAmerica's Sediment program, please click here to download our brochure.