• Exploratory soil investigation
  • Obligation to investigate
  • Preliminary soil investigation
  • Descriptive study

Soil investigation

Are you curious about the condition of your land? Thanks to “De Grote Grondvraag” (“The Great Soil Survey”), you can easily locate your land on a map and see whether there is a risk of soil contamination. This is OVAM’s way of stimulating all landowners in Flanders to check their land and remediate it where necessary.

Is your plot coloured red? Don’t panic! It could be that your land was incorrectly entered as ‘risk land’ in the database. Witteveen+Bos is a recognised soil remediation expert and can assist in drawing up a substantiated claim to be declassified as risk land. Don't be left in the dark! We can guide you step-by-step through this process.

Exploratory soil investigation provides insight into soil

If you suspect that activities conducted on your property may be polluting the soil – or that this was the case in the past – we can provide insight into the condition of your soil by conducting an exploratory soil investigation .


  • We first conduct a historical survey to determine where soil contamination may have occurred
  • Then we take samples from risk zones, including around storage tanks, at workshops, landfills and fuel points, etc.
  • We also take additional samples from non risk zones to complete the screening of your parcel
  • We send these samples to the lab for analysis and, based on the results, we evaluate the contamination status
  • We then draw up a report with all the data. If soil contamination is present, we will determine whether further investigation is necessary and additional measures need to be taken.
  • Once the report has been submitted to and approved by OVAM, you can request a soil certificate


Are you working on a construction project that involves excavation work for a swimming pool, cellar, etc.? And does earth moving come into play? Then a soil investigation is required here too and we are happy to help by conducting an earth moving study.

Check whether you have an obligation to investigate

A soil investigation is mandatory at transfer, closure or discontinuation of activities. This is also the case with a periodic obligation, such as an environmental permit application or a one-off investigation.

Would you like more information about when a soil investigation is necessary and who is obligated to investigate? You will find the answers to these questions on the OVAM website. As a soil remediation expert, we can of course also guide you in this.

Preliminary soil investigation maps the riskiest zones

Do you want to get an impression of the soil condition of your site? Witteveen+Bos can carry out an preliminary soil investigation. This is a limited survey in which we examine your soil and/or the groundwater in the riskiest zones.

Three-dimensional mapping of contamination and assessment of risks for people and the environment

On the basis of a descriptive study , our experienced soil experts can map the contamination three-dimensionally. This allows us to investigate exactly where the contamination originated and where it has spread to. Using the results of this research, we will also estimate the risks for people and the environment.

Finally, the characterisation study will demonstrate whether it is necessary to proceed to remediation of the soil. We guide our clients in this and can also determine, together with them, whether they are eligible for an exemption from the remediation obligation. If you obtain an exemption from this obligation, OVAM will execute the follow-up process itself.


More information?

Roel Vleeracker

PMC manager Environmental Development and Management