Frequently Asked Questions

Who should screen for heavy metals?

Metal screening is recommended for soils in areas that are urban, formerly industrial, within 10 feet or a current or former structure built before 1960, or have an unknown history. 

How long does it take to get test results?

Results for single or small numbers of samples are returned within 4 weeks. Results for 20 or more samples are returned within 2 weeks. Order testing through go.osu.edu/soil_test.

Where do i get information on my site history?

Historical maps can reveal former structures and businesses that occupied a site. Google Maps Street View offers images dating back around 10 years. Google Earth Pro (not the web version) offers aerial images dating back the past couple of decades. Sanborn Fire Insurance maps detail building locations back to the 1800's. Visit go.osu.edu/Ohio_maps to find Sanborn maps for cities in Ohio. 

How long does it take to get test results?

Results for single or small numbers of samples are returned within 4 weeks. Results for 20 or more samples are returned within 2 weeks. Order testing through go.osu.edu/soil_test.

When do I collect a soil sample?

Samples for heavy metal analysis can be collected at any time. Sampling in the early spring is recommended so that results are returned before planting. 

What information should I include with the sample?

Include your name, contact information and site address with the samples. Each sample should be labeled with an identifier so the results can be matched with the sampling location (e.g. "Front yard garden beds" and "Back yard garden beds")