Soil quality - Characterization of contaminated soil related to groundwater protection (ISO 15175:2018)

This document provides guidance on the principles behind, and main methods for, the evaluation of
sites, soils and soil materials in relation to their role as a source of contamination of groundwater and
their function in retaining, releasing and transforming contaminants. It is focused on contaminated
land management identifying and listing relevant monitoring strategies, methods for sampling, soil
processes and analytical methods.

Bodenbeschaffenheit - Ermittlung von Kennwerten des Bodens hinsichtlich des Wirkungspfads Boden (ISO 15175:2018)

Dieses Dokument enthält eine Anleitung für Grundlagen und Verfahren zur Bewertung von Flächen, Böden und Bodenmaterialien hinsichtlich ihrer Rolle als Kontaminationsquelle des Grundwassers sowie ihrer Funktion bei Zurückhaltung, Freisetzung und Umwandlung kontaminierender Stoffe. Der Schwerpunkt liegt auf dem Umgang mit kontaminierten Flächen, der Beschreibung und Aufstellung einschlägiger Über-wachungsstrategien, Verfahren für die Probenahme, Bodenprozessen und analytischen Verfahren.

Qualité du sol - Caractérisation des sols contaminés en relation avec la nappe phréatique (ISO 15175:2018)

Le présent document fournit des recommandations relatives aux principes sous-jacents et aux principales méthodes régissant l'évaluation des sites, des sols et des matériaux du sol, à leur rôle en tant que source de pollution des eaux souterraines et à leur fonction de rétention, d'émission et de transformation des polluants. Il est axé sur la gestion des sites et sols pollués ainsi que sur l'identification et l'énumération des stratégies de surveillance et des méthodes d'échantillonnage, de traitements des sols et d'analyses applicables.

Kakovost tal - Karakterizacija onesnaženih tal v zvezi z varovanjem podzemne vode (ISO 15175:2018)

Ta dokument podaja smernice o načelih in glavnih metodah za ocenjevanje
območij, tal in talnih materialov v povezavi z njihovo vlogo kot vir onesnaževanja podzemne vode ter
njihovo vlogo pri ohranjanju, sproščanju in preoblikovanju onesnaževal. Osredotoča se
na upravljanje onesnaženih zemljišč, in sicer z opredelitvijo in navajanjem ustreznih strategij spremljanja, metod vzorčenja,
procesov v tleh in analitičnih metod.

General Information

Status
Published
Public Enquiry End Date
30-Jun-2017
Publication Date
30-Jan-2019
Technical Committee
Current Stage
6060 - National Implementation/Publication (Adopted Project)
Start Date
24-Jan-2019
Due Date
31-Mar-2019
Completion Date
31-Jan-2019

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
01-marec-2019
1DGRPHãþD
SIST EN ISO 15175:2011
SIST ISO 15175:2006
Kakovost tal - Karakterizacija onesnaženih tal v zvezi z varovanjem podzemne
vode (ISO 15175:2018)

Soil quality - Characterization of contaminated soil related to groundwater protection

(ISO 15175:2018)
Bodenbeschaffenheit - Ermittlung von Kennwerten des Bodens hinsichtlich des
Wirkungspfads Boden (ISO 15175:2018)
Qualité du sol - Caractérisation des sols contaminés en relation avec la nappe
phréatique (ISO 15175:2018)
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN ISO 15175:2018
ICS:
13.080.40 Hidrološke lastnosti tal Hydrological properties of
soils
SIST EN ISO 15175:2019 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
EN ISO 15175
EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPÉENNE
December 2018
EUROPÄISCHE NORM
ICS 13.080.40 Supersedes EN ISO 15175:2011
English Version
Soil quality - Characterization of contaminated soil related
to groundwater protection (ISO 15175:2018)

Qualité du sol - Caractérisation des sols pollués en Bodenbeschaffenheit - Ermittlung von Kennwerten des

relation avec la protection des eaux souterraines (ISO Bodens hinsichtlich des Wirkungspfads Boden (ISO

15175:2018) 15175:2018)
This European Standard was approved by CEN on 3 December 2018.

CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this

European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references

concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN

member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other language made by

translation under the responsibility of a CEN member into its own language and notified to the CEN-CENELEC Management

Centre has the same status as the official versions.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,

Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

Turkey and United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Rue de la Science 23, B-1040 Brussels

© 2018 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. EN ISO 15175:2018 E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
EN ISO 15175:2018 (E)
Contents Page

European foreword ....................................................................................................................................................... 3

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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
EN ISO 15175:2018 (E)
European foreword

This document (EN ISO 15175:2018) has been prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 190 "Soil

quality" in collaboration with Technical Committee CEN/TC 345 “Characterization of soils” the

secretariat of which is held by NEN.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an

identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by June 2019, and conflicting national standards shall be

withdrawn at the latest by June 2019.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. CEN shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights.

This document supersedes EN ISO 15175:2011.

According to the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the

following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,

Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Endorsement notice

The text of ISO 15175:2018 has been approved by CEN as EN ISO 15175:2018 without any modification.

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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 15175
Second edition
2018-12
Soil quality — Characterization
of contaminated soil related to
groundwater protection
Qualité du sol — Caractérisation des sols pollués en relation avec la
protection des eaux souterraines
Reference number
ISO 15175:2018(E)
ISO 2018
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2018

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting

on the internet or an intranet, without prior written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address

below or ISO’s member body in the country of the requester.
ISO copyright office
CP 401 • Ch. de Blandonnet 8
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva
Phone: +41 22 749 01 11
Fax: +41 22 749 09 47
Email: copyright@iso.org
Website: www.iso.org
Published in Switzerland
ii © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 General ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 3

5 Assessment of direct and indirect inputs to groundwater........................................................................................ 5

5.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 5

5.2 Relevant soil processes .................................................................................................................................................................... 6

5.3 Impact assessment procedures ................................................................................................................................................ 7

5.4 Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis, data handling and quality ................................................................. 9

6 Tier 1 — Simple assessment .................................................................................................................................................................11

6.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................11

6.2 Site and soil description ...............................................................................................................................................................11

6.3 Simple assessment of the potential leaching risk ..................................................................................................12

7 Tier 2 — Intermediate assessment ................................................................................................................................................13

7.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................13

7.2 Sampling ....................................................................................................................................................................................................13

7.3 Characterization of soil, water and soil gas .................................................................................................................13

7.3.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................13

7.3.2 Physical parameters ...................................................................................................................................................14

7.3.3 Chemical parameters ................................................................................................................................................14

7.4 Impact assessment ...........................................................................................................................................................................16

7.4.1 General...................................................................................................................................................................................16

7.4.2 Substance concentration in soil water .......................................................................................................16

7.4.3 Amount of transferable substances ..............................................................................................................17

7.4.4 Degradation of organic contaminants ........................................................................................................18

8 Tier 3 — Complex assessment .............................................................................................................................................................18

8.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................18

8.2 Biological parameters ....................................................................................................................................................................18

8.3 Isotopic parameters .........................................................................................................................................................................18

8.4 Geophysical parameters ...............................................................................................................................................................19

Annex A (informative) Relevant parameters suggested for the physical, chemical and

biological characterization of soil, water and soil gas ...............................................................................................20

Annex B (informative) Examples of complex methods for assessing the leaching risk ...............................27

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................36

© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved iii
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) see www .iso

.org/iso/foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 190, Soil quality, Subcommittee SC 7,

Impact assessment.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/members .html.

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO 15175:2004), which has been technically

revised.

The main change concerns the focus on contaminated land management. This second edition suggests a

tiered approach from simple to complex assessment in order to evaluate the impact of soil contamination

of groundwater.
iv © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 15175:2018(E)
Soil quality — Characterization of contaminated soil
related to groundwater protection
1 Scope

This document provides guidance on the principles behind, and main methods for, the evaluation of

sites, soils and soil materials in relation to their role as a source of contamination of groundwater and

their function in retaining, releasing and transforming contaminants. It is focused on contaminated

land management identifying and listing relevant monitoring strategies, methods for sampling, soil

processes and analytical methods.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https: //www .iso .org/obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http: //www .electropedia .org/
3.1
aquifer

geological water-bearing formation (bed or stratum) of permeable rock, or unconsolidated material

(e.g. sand and gravels) capable of yielding significant quantities of water
[SOURCE: ISO 5667-11:2009, 3.5]
3.2
contaminant
substance or agent present in the soil (3.10) as a result of human activity
Note 1 to entry: See pollutant (3.7).

Note 2 to entry: There is no assumption in this definition that harm results from the presence of the contaminant.

[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.4.6, modified — a new Note 1 to entry has been added and the subsequent

note has been renumbered.]
3.3
dissolved organic carbon
DOC

concentration of organic carbon remaining in solution after filtration and/or centrifugation under

defined conditions
Note 1 to entry: Dissolved organic carbon is expressed in mg/l, g/m .
© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved 1
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)
3.4
groundwater

water in the saturated zone of an underground geological formation or artificial deposit such as made

ground, e.g. fill material

[SOURCE: ISO 5667-11:2009, 3.9, modified — “and/or unsaturated zone” has been removed.]

3.5
water table
upper boundary surface of the groundwater (3.4)
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.2.4]
3.6
percolating water
infiltrating water that moves downward in the pore space due to gravity
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.2.5]
3.7
pollutant

substance or agent present in the soil (3.10) [or groundwater (3.4)] which, due to its properties, amount

or concentration causes adverse impacts on soil functions (3.11) or soil use
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.4.18, modified — “or soil use” has been added.]
3.8
pore water
water in the pores or cavities within a body of rock or soil (3.10)

[SOURCE: ISO 5667-11:2009, 3.18, modified — “water that fills the pores” has been replaced by “water

in the pores”.]
3.9
risk assessment

process of risk analysis and evaluation of the damaging effects on humans and the environment, with

respect to the nature, extent, and probability of occurrence of these effects

[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 5.2.26, modified — “effects on man” has been replaced by “effects on

humans”.]
3.10
soil

upper layer of the Earth's crust composed of mineral particles, organic matter, water, air and organisms

Note 1 to entry: In a broader civil engineering sense, soil includes topsoil and sub-soil; deposits such as clays,

silts, sands, gravels, cobbles, boulders, and organic matter and deposits such as peat, materials of human origin

such as wastes, ground gas and moisture, and living organisms.

[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 2.1.11, modified — “transformed by weathering and physical/chemical and

biological processes” has been removed.]
3.11
soil function
description of the significance of soils (3.10) to man and the environment

EXAMPLE Control of substance and energy cycles as compartment of ecosystems, basis for the life of plants,

animals, and man, basis for the stability of buildings and roads, basis for the yield of agriculture, horticulture, and

forestry, carrier of genetic reservoir, document of natural history, archaeological and paleoecological document.

[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.3.31]
2 © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)
3.12
soil gas
gas and vapour in the pore spaces of soils (3.10)
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 2.1.13]
3.13
soil material

excavated soil, dredged materials and soil (3.10) treated to remove or destroy or reduce the

environmental availability of contaminants (3.2)
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 7.4.16, modified — “materials composed of” removed.]
3.14
soil pores
part of the soil volume, between the solid particles of the soil (3.10)
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 2.1.14]
3.15
soil water
all water of the unsaturated zone (3.17)
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 3.2.7, modified — “and saturated” has been removed.]
3.16
total organic carbon
TOC
all carbon present in organic matter
[SOURCE: ISO 11074:2015, 2.1.22]
3.17
unsaturated zone

part of an aquifer (3.1) in which the pore spaces of the formation are not totally filled with water

[SOURCE: ISO 6107-2:2006, 150]
4 General

Soils are of central importance within the water cycle because their storage and filter functions have

a lasting influence on the water balance and groundwater quality. In this context, particular attention

shall be paid to the following functions:

— mechanical filter functions (retention of suspended sludge and contaminant particles);

— chemical filter functions (sorption and mobilization of substances);
— transformation functions (degradation or transformation of substances).

NOTE The liquid phase most commonly consists of solely of water but non-aqueous liquids can sometimes

also be present as a separate phase.

Soil is understood as a porous medium consisting of three phases: the solid phase, the liquid phase and the

gaseous phase. The ratio of these phases and their respective compositions vary widely in time and space.

The assessment of contamination affecting groundwater quality requires a profound understanding

of the governing processes and reactions of potentially toxic compounds in soils. Contaminants are

translocated in all three phases of soils as a function of the properties of the chemicals and the soil.

Hence, strategies for assessing risks to groundwater due to soil contamination should vary with the

contaminants considered, and should take into account those soil properties which mainly govern the

soil's filter, retention, release and transformation functions.
© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved 3
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)

Vaporous contaminants, essentially volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are likely to migrate in the

unsaturated zone in gaseous form. Knowledge of the soil gas quality in the unsaturated zone allows

detection of contamination before it reaches the saturated zone as well as in the saturated zone.

In addition to considering the properties of the chemicals and the soil governing the behaviour of

contaminants in soils, different ways for contaminants to enter soils should also be evaluated when

designing suitable risk assessment strategies, with respect to contamination of groundwater. Soil and

groundwater contamination can be caused by different sources on different spatial scales, as indicated

in Figure 1.
Key
1 solid waste tip of landfill
2 industrially-polluted “losing” river
3 industrial site drainage
4 leaking storage tanks
5 in-situ sanitation
6 farmyard drainage
7 leaking sewers
8 wastewater lagoons
9 agricultural intensification

Figure 1 — Common sources of groundwater contamination (focus on contaminated land

[1]
management)

On regional and larger scales, soil contamination is caused, for example, by wet and dry atmospheric

deposition. The contamination observed in these cases is generally diffuse and with fairly moderate levels

of contamination. On a local scale, a variety of point sources can cause all kinds and magnitudes of soil

and groundwater contamination. In the case of immiscible contaminants (for example hydrocarbons),

most of the contamination forms a separate liquid phase from water. A fraction is soluble and capable

of migrating to groundwater. In the unsaturated zone, another fraction could be in the vapour phase.

Depending on the relative density in water, the behaviour of the contaminant is very different. Light

non aqueous phase liquids (LNAPL) have a lower density and dense non aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL)

have a higher density than that of water. Most point sources of contamination can also be regarded

as off-site diffuse sources of groundwater contamination. It is evident that different contamination

scenarios as a function of contamination sources and scale demand different investigation strategies

with respect to groundwater impact. Furthermore, groundwater impact assessment depends on the

aquifer system: unconfined or confined and the type of porosity: porous media, fractured media or

karst environment. At present there are no uniform principles for the investigation and evaluation of

contaminated soils and contaminated sites in relation to the protection of water resources.

Investigation strategies may be simple to complex. Simple or qualitative approaches mostly refer

to assessment of, for example, the potential leaching risk of chemicals through the soil towards

groundwater. In contrast to complex or quantitative approaches, the level of actual soil contamination

4 © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)

is not taken into account. Approaches of this type can also be used, for example, to classify larger areas

with respect to their capability of protecting groundwater resources against contamination, or as an

introductory step in an assessment of an actual contaminated site.

To assess the on-site impact on groundwater resulting from specific soil contamination, quantitative

approaches based on site-specific investigation procedures including laboratory and/or field

measurements have to be used. Laboratory measurements can include physical, chemical and biological

analysis, and leaching tests. Assessments of this kind should also take into account natural background

concentrations of a substance and other natural conditions affecting the impact on the groundwater.

Assessments of impact on groundwater often include a temporal aspect, since the actual impact might

not be measurable at the time of the investigation, but could happen sometime in the future.

Assessments also depend on the purposes of investigations, for example:
— conservation of soil functions in order to prevent groundwater contamination;
— soil and groundwater monitoring;
— risk assessment;
— controlling remediation measures.

A listing of suitable methods is provided in the main part of this document (see Clause 5).

Since the impact on groundwater can lead to impact on surface waters, this aspect can in some cases be

relevant in an overall impact assessment. This issue is not addressed explicitly in this document.

5 Assessment of direct and indirect inputs to groundwater
5.1 General

A prerequisite for the evaluation of the soil-to-groundwater pathway is the determination of the

relevant physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soils and the hydrological characteristics

of the site. It is therefore necessary to collect data for the assessment of the contamination source with

respect to the type and degree of contamination and extent of source(s).

It is also necessary to describe the soil that is impacted by the contamination source, and the factors

affecting the impact on the groundwater, e.g. the geometry, hydraulic conditions and natural chemical

and biologic processes. Indeed, many processes occurring in the soil (physical, chemical and biological

processes) may influence the groundwater impact.

The processes involved are illustrated schematically in Figure 2 and a description of the relevant

parameters is given in Table 1.
© ISO 2018 – All rights reserved 5
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)

Figure 2 — Schematic diagram illustrating the soil compartment covered by the assessment

[2]
procedure and processes affecting the impact of contamination on groundwater

The types of information needed to describe the relevant soil compartment include pedology (e.g. soil

unit), lithology of parent material, hydrogeology (e.g. permeability), physico-chemical conditions (e.g.

pH) and biological conditions (e.g. substrate availability). The study area of the impact assessment

depends on many factors, such as the following:
— the origin of the contamination: diffuse versus point source;
— the type and characteristics of contaminants (e.g. solubility, persistence);

— the type (e.g. consolidated, unconsolidated, sedimentary/metamorphic/igneous, fractured, karstic,

dual porosity, etc.) and characteristics of the aquifer (e.g. homogeneous/heterogeneous, isotropic/

anisotropic, bedding, jointing, confinement, dispersivity, velocity, etc.);

— the use of the aquifer (e.g. drinking water supply, industrial supply) and relations of the aquifer with

superficial water (e.g. lakes, rivers, etc.).
5.2 Relevant soil processes

Contaminant transport in the unsaturated zone is governed not only by the transport of percolating

water but also by a number of biological, physical and chemical processes. Which of these processes are

to be considered important within a given context depends on the type of contaminants and the actual

soil conditions. An overview of soil and contaminant parameters related to contaminant transport is

given in Table 1.
6 © ISO 2018 – All rights reserved
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SIST EN ISO 15175:2019
ISO 15175:2018(E)

Contamination ageing influences different processes in soil: decrease of degradation and mobility,

increase of sorption and viscosity. This parameter should be taken into account for the impact

assessment.

Table 1 — Examples of soil and contaminant parameters related to different processes in soil

Examples of contaminant
Process Examples of soil parameters
parameters

Mass transport of contami- Hydraulic, conductivity, degree of saturation, Solubility, volatility, density,

nants porosity, pore size distribution, soil water-
...

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