Test Pit

What is a Test Pit?

A test pit is a methodical excavation performed in the early stages of a construction or environmental project. It serves as a preliminary assessment of the subsurface conditions, providing crucial information for engineers and developers.

Purpose of Test Pits

The primary purpose of digging test pits is to:

  • Examine soil characteristics and stratification.
  • Determine the presence of groundwater or bedrock.
  • Identify potential contamination or archaeological resources.

Test Pit Methodology

Creating a test pit involves carefully removing soil in layers and documenting the soil types, color, texture, and moisture content at different depths. This process often requires the expertise of geotechnical engineers or environmental scientists.

Test Pits in Construction

In construction, test pits are crucial for designing foundations and other subterranean structures. They provide data on soil load-bearing capacity, which informs decisions on the type of foundation required for the project.

Test Pits and Environmental Assessments

For environmental services, test pits can reveal the presence of contaminated soils, the depth to groundwater, and other environmental conditions that might impact the proposed use of the site.

Advantages of Test Pits

The advantages of using test pits include:

  • Direct observation of subsurface conditions.
  • Cost-effectiveness for small-scale investigations.

Limitations and Considerations

The limitations of test pits are their invasive nature and the limited area of investigation. Additionally, safety precautions must be taken to prevent collapse when personnel enter the pit for inspections.

Advanced Techniques in Subsurface Exploration

Beyond test pits, advanced techniques such as soil borings and geophysical methods can provide more comprehensive data over larger areas and at greater depths.

Test Pits and Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance often requires subsurface investigation through test pits to ensure the site meets environmental standards and construction codes.


Test pits are a fundamental tool in environmental and construction services for obtaining direct information about subsurface conditions. They are a first step in the site assessment process that can shape the course of a project's design and ensure its safe and successful completion.

Service Locations

We proudly serve West Texas, South-East New Mexico, and surrounding areas for all of our services.

Midland, TX
Monahans, TX
Hobbs, NM
Odessa, TX
Pecos, TX
Lovington, NM
Fort Stockton, TX
Big Spring, TX
Carlsbad, NM
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Environmental Services

Environmental services play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy living environment. Ideally, activities like oil drilling, chemical storage, and waste disposal would never impact our surroundings. However, accidents are unpredictable and can cause significant environmental harm if unaddressed. Reach out to learn how our environmental service solutions can support your project and safeguard our ecosystem.

Safety & Procedures

Our mission is to deliver top-tier environmental and construction services to the Permian Basin and its vicinity, prioritizing efficiency, affordability, and safety. At Stingray, our workforce is fully trained in SafeLand and H2S protocols. We start each day with a Job Safety Analysis and a Tailgate Safety Meeting, followed by a comprehensive job site walkthrough. This ensures our team is well-informed and prepared for the day's tasks.