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4.1.2 Augers

Use: Augers are commonly used to collect near surface samples and, in combination with tube samplers, to collect undisturbed samples.


Hand-held augers consist of an auger bit, a solid or tubular drill rod, and a "T" handle. When the drill rod is threaded, extensions can be added or auger bits interchanged. The auger tip drills into the ground as the handle is rotated, and soil retained on the auger tip is brought to the surface and used as the soil sample. Alternately, augers can be used to bore to the desired sampling depth, and a tube sampler used for collection. Augers can be used around piping and utility lines. A wide variety of auger tips are available including:

Screw Auger: Used on cohesive, soft, or hard soils. Will not retain dry, loose, or granular material.
Dutch Auger: Designed specifically for wet clayey, fibrous, or rooted soils (marshes).
In-situ Soil Recovery Auger: Collects soil in reusable liners utilizing a closed top to reduce contamination from caving sidewalls. Might not retain dry, loose, or granular material.
Eijkelcamp Stony Soil Auger: Used on stony soils or asphalt.
Planner Auger: Cleans out and flattens the bottom of predrilled holes.
Post-Hole/Iwan Auger: Used on cohesive, soft, or hard soils. Will not retain loose material.
Silage Auger: Used on silage pits and peat bogs.
Spiral Auger: Used to remove rock from auger holes so that borings can continue with other auger types.
Mud Tips: Opening cut out of the cylinder for easy removal of heavy, wet soil and clay samples. The bits are similar to regular tips but spaced further apart.
Sand Heads: Designed for use in extremely dry, sandy soils. The bits are formed to touch in order to hold dry sand samples.


1. Non-Halogenated VOCs 5. PAHs 9. Inorganics
2. Non-Halogenated SVOCs 6. Pesticides/Herbicides 10. Explosives
3. Halogenated VOCs 7. Metals 11. TPHs
4. Halogenated SVOCs 8. Radionuclides


Soil: Ground Water: Surface Water: Gas/Air:
Maximum Depth: Up to 5 feet.
Production Rate: Sample is available quickly. In moist soil, hand-held augers penetrate more rapidly than bucket augers. Power-driven augers are available.
Investigation Derived Waste Volume: Small volume of waste.
Technology Status: Commercially available and routinely used field technology.
Certification/Verification: Technology has not participated in CalEPA certification and/or CSCT verification program.
Relative Cost per Sample: Least expensive.


ASTM Standards:

D 1452 - 80 Practice for Soil Investigation and Sampling by Auger Borings.
D 4700 - 91 Soil Sampling from the Vadose Zone.

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