Submitting your soil samples.
Thank you for choosing to participate in the Soilsafe Aotearoa soil testing project. Please complete and submit the form below before sending in your soil samples. By completing this form, you give consent to Soilsafe Aotearoa to test and store your soil samples and handle your information as described in the participant information sheet.
We recognise that for some people, returning their soil is important. Please send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope along with your samples, if you would like us to return your soil to you.
Please click the button below to access the participant information sheet. Ensure you have read the consent information before filling out this form.
How to collect your soil samples.
Collecting your soil samples is easy. Check out the useful info below to get your samples collected, packed and sent in to us for testing. If you require any further assistance or have any questions please get in touch by clicking here. The picture below shows where around the house you should take samples.
Collect your samples.
Label a resealable bag for each sample location you wish to have tested. Ensure you write the location sampled and the date. Use a trowel or other tool to collect a cricket ball sized amount of soil at each location. Try to collect from the top 5-10 cm of soil. Bag up your soil samples by location and seal them up tight.
Please double-bag your samples.
Complete survey and consent form.
Come back to the web page and fill out your email address below. Write the unique identification number you receive in your confirmation email followed by the sample letter assigned to that site (A, B, C, D, or E). Your bag should be labelled as per the image to the left.
Click the link in your confirmation email to access and fill out the Soilsafe soil submission form before sending in your samples.
Pack and send your samples.
Place all of your soil samples carefully into a courier bag and address it to us at:
c/o Soilsafe Aotearoa, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin, 9054
Send it off to us and await your results! You can read more about receiving results below. If having your soil returned to you is important, we can arrange that for you.
Results from your soil test.
Within 8 weeks of sending us your soil we will email you a report showing some metal levels in your soil. We will also include links to helpful resources and the government guidelines for metals in soils to help you understand the levels in your garden. The results from your test help you understand your garden and help New Zealand by growing a picture of metals in soil around the country. The generalised results of this study can be seen on a map here: Map My Environment. Keep checking back as this picture grows more detailed all the time.
Frequently asked questions.
Q: How much soil do I need to send?
A: An ideal sample size (per sample) would be approximately the size of a cricket ball. This will easily fit in a zip-lock bag. If you have small zip-lock bags the sample should take up approximately half of the bag.
Q: What is the turnaround time for Soilsafe soil testing?
A: We strive to provide a fast turnaround time (8 weeks) for our participants.
Q: Where do I send my soil samples to?
You can send your samples to GNS Science: c/o Soilsafe Aotearoa, Private Bag 1930, Dunedin 9054
Q: What is the dripline sample?
A: The dripline is any point where water from your roof meets the soil. This can be a useful area to analyse as it represents the accumulation of metals over a large, flat area (your roof).
Q: Are my results normal?
A: Check out our global map at Map My Environment. This mapping tool allows you to zoom to your area and compare soil and dust trace element concentrations. The data you see is from Soilsafe Aotearoa, VegeSafe Australia, and DustSafe (with points double-jittered to protect participant privacy). If there isn’t any data in your area, then be the first and send us a sample!
Q: I live nearby, can I drop off my samples?
A: Due to the current COVID-19 situation we ask that all participants mail their samples to us. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Q: How do I get my results?
A: The results of your soil test will be emailed to you. Keep an eye on your junk inbox as sometimes the email can be found there. If it has been 8 weeks and you have not received an email, please contact us.