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Below, you will find the a list of supplies and equipment for subsurface investigations. It is our intent that organizations and individuals can use this list to better prepare to go into the field, to be safe, productive and comfortable while conducting subsurface investigations.

This Draft List was developed by several colleagues and I, who have had the opportunity to visit thousands of active contaminated sites, globally since the 1980s, and review hundreds of organizations’ standard operating procedures, but it is a dynamic document and not finished. If you feel the list is not complete or you feel some commentary is required, your detailed additions and constructive comments are welcome. Useful would be hyperlinks to suppliers that you recommend or rationales for specific pieces of equipment or pictures.

For taking the time to review and providing feedback please accept the LinkedIn Registration - Sessions Rate at the bottom of this list for the 24th Annual Contaminated Site Management Course being held in Toronto from June 3-7, 2019, for you or any of your colleagues as my thanks and gratitude for your time and your contribution. This offer is valid until April 1, 2019.

If you have any questions or comments or links to source material, then please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at:

gowen@contaminatedsite.com or at +1 (416) 259-6911 or at https://www.facebook.com/GOwenEnvironmental

You can join me on LinkedIn at https://ca.linkedin.com/in/gareth-owen-a4894a6

Thank you. Regards, Gareth Owen


Field Kit or Supplies for Subsurface Investigations

All Materials should be laid out on a tarp and tested prior to leaving the office to ensure that all equipment or materials are present and in working order. The reverse should occur when departing from the site to ensure that all materials are accounted for. This is especially important for remote location work. Photographs should be taken at each point.

Printed Material and Writing Instruments

(Note: All this material should be also be scanned and present on your field portable smartphone or computer)

Field Package in weather (water) proof complete container or work case.

  1. Clip board
  2. Health & safety information
  3. Scope of work
  4. Health and safety plan
  5. Location and site map
  6. Air photos
  7. Site plan - sampling locations
  8. Geophysical survey
  9. All paperwork for up-to-date utility locates
  10. Emergency contacts,
  11. Sign - in sheets (Daily + overall arrival/departure dates)
  12. MSDS Folder and WHMIS Labels
  13. Safety signage and applicable field forms
  14. Field Procedures/standard operating procedures (May be Electronic)
  15. Laminated Soil classification table and charts - Include Munsell Soil and Rock Colour books/charts.
  16. Laminated Truck Capacity and Stockpile/Confirmatory Sampling Guide
  17. McCullough Geo Guide Card and Geotechnical Gauge
  18. Glued References for Grain Size and Angularity ("Sand Card" - Geological Society of America GRN001)
  19. Field/Log book (Water proof pages) - Rite In the Rain - Field Book
  20. Notebook (Water proof pages)
  21. Borehole/monitoring, well development and Purging Forms/Records, Low flow and other sampling forms sampling forms weather proof paper
  22. Sampling and field form binder
  23. Aquifer test data forms (when conducting slug tests)
  24. Waterproof and permanent marking Pens and Pencils (Minimum 2 each)
  25. Paper clips, elastic bands, envelopes, etc.
  26. Extra large zip lock bags to protect documents


Note: You will not able to take all of these into the field with you. Identify the scope of work and issues you may face at your site. Plan, develop contingencies and select your tools on what you can use efficiently and effectively.

  1. Acid bottle
  2. Bailer Retriever (Conbar 5430 or Heavy duty fishing line or stainless steel wire (aircraft cable) and a large fishing lure (with barbs removed) to retrieve lost bailers, tubing or broken interface probes from down a well)
  3. Bladder Pump
  4. Blank Tags (or Valve Tags & Stamps)
  5. Bolt Snaps
  6. Box end and pipe wrenches
  7. Bung wrench
  8. Cable ties
  9. Cave Line (High-Vis Dacron or #24 Nylon)
  10. Chain Wrench (oil filter wrench)
  11. Chalk (Several Colours)
  12. Channel Lock Pliers (Slip Joint Plier)
  13. Clean, Stainless Steel Bowls
  14. Compass - Bruynton or Clar-type
  15. Cordless Drill
  16. Crowbar, Cats Paw or Stanley Fubar Demo Tool
  17. Discharge Hose/Waterra
  18. Disposable Bailers (1L or 200mL), 1.6" O.D.
  19. Dremel (Hi Speed Rotary Tool)
  20. Duct tape and/or Waterproof Duct Tape (Gorilla Tape)
  21. Electrical Tape or Self-Fusing Silicone Tape (Tommy Tape)
  22. Engineer's Scales (Imperial and Metric as Appropriate)
  23. Epoxy Putty Stick
  24. Field Vane and Torque Wrench
  25. Garbage Bags - Clear
  26. Grundfos Redi-Flo 3
  27. Hacksaw
  28. Hand and/or Ice Auger - latter is a Canadian thing
  29. Hand Lens (Loupe - Ruper, Hastings, Coddington)
  30. Hand-level/Inclinometer
  31. Hip Chain
  32. Hydrolift
  33. Internal pipe cut-off tool (cut off 2" and 4" PVC from INSIDE the pipe)
  34. Inverter (12 v Car Battery to 120 VAC)
  35. Keys for well locks
  36. Knife
  37. Kolor Kut Gasoline Gauging Paste (Historical)
  38. Large Crescent Wrench (Monkey Wrench)
  39. Large Flathead Screwdriver
  40. Large In-line Filters (0.45 micron)
  41. Large Treble Fishing Hook and Several Meters of High Test and/or Steel Leader (Fishing Kit).
  42. Lighter
  43. Magnetic or Adhesive Vehicle Door Logos
  44. Master key (read bolt cutters)
  45. Measuring Wheel
  46. Min 30 m steel or fibre-glass reel measuring tape divided in 0.01 m or less
  47. Min. 15 ft steel tape divided in 0.01 ft intervals (Decimal feet for Rock Logging: e.g., Lufkin HV1034DM)
    Multi-tool (Saw, Scissors, Phillips - e.g., Leatherman)
  48. Pad Locks
  49. Paint Pen (for permanently marking metal) for well identification
  50. Peristaltic Pump
  51. Pick/Hammer Drill (as necessary)
  52. Plastic geotech sample bags
  53. Pocket Penetrometer or TorVane
  54. Pre-Printed Field Forms, Partially Completed Labels
  55. Pulaski or E-tool (Entrenching Tool: Folding Pick and Shovel)
  56. PVC Typhoon 12V Pump
  57. Rare Earth Magnet (Magnetic Pick Up - Store Away from Electronic Media, Compasses).
  58. Rebar "T" Handle for Manhole & Catchbasin Covers
  59. Sampling tools, usually a split spoon is preferred or thin-walled (or Shelby) tubes.
  60. Screwdriver flat and Philips head
  61. Screws for attaching well ID plate.
  62. Sheet Metal Shears
  63. Silicon Friction radiator hose repair tape
  64. Small propane torch for heating rusted, iced-in or frozen well casing bolts
  65. Small Allen Key Set
  66. Small Dropper bottle with Dilute HCL (Carbonate Test)
  67. Small Hand Axe
  68. Small Socket Set
  69. Soil Disposal Drums
  70. Spade/Shovel/Trenching Shovel ("Sharp Shooter")
  71. Spare locks
  72. Spares (in Ziploc) - J-plugs for 1 1/4" PVC
  73. Spares (in Ziploc) - J-plugs for 2" PVC
  74. Spares (in Ziploc) - One (1) metre silastic tubing (geopump head tubing: 16mm (5/8") OD)
  75. Spares (in Ziploc) - three (3) Ea. Waterra D-25, D-16 and D-13 Foot valves
  76. Spill Kit - Absorbant Pads
  77. Spool of General Purpose 16 mm Nylon Twine (#18)
  78. Stainless steel/Teflon for metals soil sampling tools (trowel or shovel)
  79. Straight Edge, Protractor or Steel Carpenters/Machinist's Protractor
  80. Strap on tool belt
  81. Sudan IV or Oil Red O (Shake Flask Free Product Test - Historical)
  82. Tape measured in 0.1 cm increments (weighted)
  83. Teflon Tape
  84. Torx and Robertson Bits
  85. Tubing Cutter
  86. Turkey Baster - for removing minor water inflow or snow/ice melt in to a flush-mount well casing (provided well is not compromised so as to prohibit sampling)
  87. Vise Grips
  88. Wash bottle
  89. Water Containment Drums - Twenty-litre bucket(s), with graduated markings to collect and measure quantity of well purge water; and a funnel to transfer purge water to containment drum
  90. Water Level meter/interface probe - for measuring water levels and product thickness in wells
  91. Well Cap Tool (aka the small bronze "T" handle)
  92. Well tool or a set of hex keys
  93. Wind speed Metre (Kestrel or Speedtech, w/ or w/o thermo, baro. and rel. humidity)
  94. Zipties ("Zap Straps")
  95. "Goon Spoon" - Extended Spoon for Soil Collection on Borehole Wall
  96. (Rock) Hardness Pick Set
  97. 1/2" LDPE Tubing
  98. 1/4" LDPE Tubing & Special SS-10 (micro) footvalves
  99. 100ft (30 m) Interface Probe
  100. 12 V Lead-Acid Battery
  101. 20 oz. or 22 oz. Geologist's Hammer (Estwing)
  102. 25 metre tape measure
  103. 3/8" LDPE Tubing
    36" Bolt Cutters
  104. 5 Pound Sledge and 1' to 2 ' rebar pieces
  105. 5/8" Waterra HDPE / LDPE Tubing
  106. 5-metre tape measure (for strapping in drill rods - some are not standard length - and measuring from a reference point on drill to the ground surface for depth measurement control).

Ground Cover

  1. Plastic bags (or equivalent, zip lock) for soil vapour measurements
  2. Clear large Construction/commercial Grade Garbage bags for disposal and/or ground cover
  3. Tarps (5'x8' or 8'x10') - for ground but also to line inside or trunk of car or truck for transport of materials
  4. Field portable table
  5. Painting drop sheets for borehole logging or profiling and/or protective ground cover.
  6. 4-6 Stakes to hold down tarp or ground cover
  7. Traffic Control Equipment (Minimum four collapsible pylons)

Survey or location/delineation marking

  1. Survey stakes
  2. Flagging Tape
  3. "Caution" Tape (Barricade Tape)
  4. Spray Paint, Orange (double-bagged in Ziploc)
  5. Flagging Tape (Two colors)
  6. Utility Survey Flags (Two colors - 14-18 inch)



  1. Clean cooler, ice cubes/freezer packs, and laboratory chain-of-custody forms and extras
  2. Self adhesive labels
  3. Packing Tape
  4. Pre-labeled containers if weather is inclement (precipitation or temperature extreme issues)
  5. Laboratory prepared sample bottles for each parameter and media to be tested.


  1. High-pressure steamer/cleanser (optional) (request from drilling contractor)
  2. Long and short-handled bristle brushes
  3. Paper Towels
  4. 2-3 Wash/rinse tubs
  5. Phosphate Free Detergent
  6. Alconox or Liguinox
  7. Deionized water - 20 Litres minimum
  8. Hand brush for boots
  9. Spray Bottle (s)
  10. Deionised Water (Approx. 1 Gallon)
  11. Analytical grade propanol or methanol (decon)
  12. Clean 5 Gallon Buckets (Min. 2)
  13. Graduated Bucket or Large (2 L or larger) Cylinder


  1. Waterproof case for Field Portable Computer/Tablet with satellite or wireless network connections.
  2. Battery Backups for electronics or car chargers and lots of batteries
  3. Smart Phone with waterproof case - tethering enabled
  4. Camera and Video Camera (Smart Phone) (Waterproof Case for camera would be beneficial) - GPS enabled, Time/Date Stamp "On")
  5. Recreational-Grade WAAS enabled personal GPS
  6. Infrared add-on for Smart Phone (i.e. FLIR)
  7. Ultraviolet light or black light
  8. Waterproof Flashlight (Pelican or Mag) and/or Headlamp (Surefire, Petzl)
  9. Calibrated Photoionization Detector (PID) (ppbRAE/MiniRAE or similar) &/or Drager Tubes w/ Pump or FID (depending on weather) and/or Gastechtor (as applicable)
  10. Personal Gas Monitor w/ O2 and H2S capacity ("4 gas"; "Confined Space Monitor", QRAE, GX-2009 or similar)
  11. YSI or Hanna Multi-Parameter Monitoring Sonde
  12. XRF
  13. Hanna pH/EC/Temp and/or ORP "Pens"
  14. Colourmetric Field Kits (e.g., for Ferric vs. Ferrous Iron)
  15. Soil Moisture Meter
  16. Metal Detector to find flush-mount well casings under snow, ice or gravel (Large stainless steel nuts & bolts - place one set inside a flush-mount well casing so you can find the well with your metal detector when it's covered with snow and ice)
  17. Drone
  18. Internet access - i.e., wireless hub
  19. Downhole camera - (GO Pro will work)

General Supplies

  1. Supply of drinking water (1 day - minimum four litres) - only in clean area after decontamination
  2. Flats of Drinking Water or (Preferred) Carboys and Personal Bottles
  3. Food Supply (1 day) - - only in clean area after decontamination
  4. Sanitary Wipes (Baby Wipes) - they work on everything
  5. Toilet Paper
  6. Sun protection, cool down or warm up area or rain protection - Tent, Cover, etc.
  7. Waterproof Duffle Bag
  8. Hand, Foot and Body Warmers
  9. Back pack with rain cover.


Common Sense - When in doubt reach out and contact someone.


Site Safety Plan or Project Health & Safety Checklist

NOTE: All field personnel must have completed their First Aid Training as well as a HAZWOPER 40-hour course that has been reviewed and accepted by OSHA and/or taken their yearly refresher.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment is designed to protect against safety and/or health hazards. When operations and/or policies dictate their use, such equipment is mandatory.

Basic personal protective equipment may include but not limited to:

Head Protection - CSA/ANSI approved hard hat (Class E, Unexpired. Reflective Tape. Last Name on Rear Exterior)s will be worn on all projects requiring them at all times with neck protection. Sun Hat with neck guard when hard hat not required.

Foot Protection - CSA/ANSI approved footwear should be worn on all projects at all times. Foot protection should be decontaminated before entering any vehicles/structures or leaving the dirty zone and/or leaving the sites.

  • Boot wash with a brush to remove soil/contamination, should be situated at the entrance to the first stage of the decontamination unit or be used prior to entering a vehicle or exiting the site.
    • Note some sites require full shank muckers (especially mine sites and oil rigs)
  • One pair of leather boots (dry environments) with boot bag or case.
  • One pair of chemical resistant rubber boots (wet environments or liquid phase present) with boot bag or case.
    • "Bama" Boot Liners
  • Kneepads -- those of you with bad knees will appreciate this when kneeling on wet, rough or frozen ground around flush-mount wells

Respiratory Protection - Work areas should be ventilated to reduce hazards from dust, fumes, gases or vapours.

  • Where ventilation is not practical, workers must be provided with respirators appropriate to the hazard and be trained to use and maintain the respirators properly.

Eye and Face Protection - CSA/ANSI approved safety glasses with side shields, goggles or face shield must be worn by any employee who is exposed to the hazard of eye or face injury in the performance of his/her work. Eye wash station (some times rigs do not have this and if sampling required

Hearing Protection - CSA/ANSI approved hearing protection must be worn when the sound level in the work area exceeds permissible exposure limits. Select ear plugs or muffs based upon expected noise levels.

Hand Protection - Appropriate gloves must be worn when handling rough, sharp or hot objects and caustics, acids, solvents, concrete or chemicals. i.e. Work gloves/rubber gloves/ industrial (NOT medical or food grade) nitrile gloves or Chemical rated gloves (not nitrile). Some sites require Kevlar gloves when using cutting tools (knives, scissors, and snips etc.).- Cut-Resistant Work Gloves.

Clothing - High visibility apparel ("Do not hit me" or "I am not lost I am here" Vests) should be worn as well as cover that is appropriate for the exposure that may be encountered (Tyvek suit and/or (insulated/vented) coverall or overall). Disposable Level D (Tyvek - for Dust & Spray) or Level C (Tychem/Chemtex/Pyrolon - for Splash) Coveralls at a minimum in the field.

Clothing shall be inspected for contamination and either bagged for commercial laundry or stored for use the following day or disposed of appropriately. No personal protection clothing worn on sites should be worn off-site or into personal vehicles. Storage bag for field clothing.

Short sleeves and shorts are not permitted on a site unless under coveralls or tyvek suits . Shirts should be button down with rear neck protection and front storage pocket - vents or wickable panels under shoulders always preferred. Jeans although easy to find are not usually acceptable at most sites as there is a tendency to get into vehicles or leave site wearing potentially contaminated clothing. When jeans get wet they are wet and heavy and uncomfortable all day. Three pairs of light weight hiking pants to keep you cool and comfortable and dry quickly if wet weigh less then one pair of jeans and take up less space.

Change of under clothes (wool socks, underwear, etc).

Change of shirt and pants.

Rain/weather gear if required.

Fire Extinguisher in vehicle.- UL Rated ABC Fire Extinguisher (Min 5 lb; 20 lb in vehicle preferred)

First Aid Kits (one with field person and larger one in vehicle) - (incl. personal items such as Aspirin/Ibuprofen, Sudafed, Gravol, etc that work for you).
Level 1 First Aid Kit w/ Blankets (Shift of 2 - 5 Workers in a workplace of moderate risk of injury and that is more than 20 Minutes travel time away from a hospital).

Fall Protection - When there is no other form of protection from falling, personnel shall wear approved fall arrest equipment.

Site Safety Plan or Project Health & Safety Checklist

  • Hand washing brush with nail scrubber.
  • Air Horn or signal whistle (Fox 40, Windstorm or similar)
  • Sunblock, lip balm and insect repellent
  • Maps and directions to nearest hospital, police and fire hall
  • MSDS sheets on all potential contaminants, chemicals and materials being used (sand, bentonite, cement, etc.)
  • All should be put into the site health and safety field binder.

This list is not complete and/or detailed without your comments or feedback.

Please join me on LinkedIn or email any comments on the above and in appreciation please receive this significantly discounted rate for the course in June 2019.


Please contact me with any comments, thoughts or links to source material at gowen@contaminatedsite.com or (416) 259-6911 or

on LinkedIn at https://ca.linkedin.com/in/gareth-owen-a4894a6. Thank you.



Websites Provided.

Support Provided by:

" Bill Leedham, P. Geo. QPESA, CESA
" Don Weir
" Randall Shaw
" Steve Gustafson, PG
" Kashif Hamid
" Pete Craig
" David Kolenko



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