Polluted sites are those sites in which an industrial activity was carried out or an accident occurred that could potentially lead to environmental pollution (water, air and soil). These sites are listed in a cantonal land register, and include landfills, industrial sites, shooting ranges, and accident locations.
Contaminated sites include those areas where it has been ascertained that pollutants harmful for the natural environment and human health are present. This issue is governed by the Ordinance on the Remediation of Polluted Sites (Contaminated Sites Ordinance, CSO), in force since 1 October 1998, which sets out uniform implementation criteria for contaminated site management throughout Switzerland. For more information, please visit the Swiss government website Contaminated sites: legal foundations.
Researching past and present documentation concerning the contaminated site.
These draw a picture of the general situation concerning the site and plan sample-taking and chemical analyses to be performed during the technical investigation.
Samples of materials are taken from the site to different depths, for tests using XRF (X-ray fluorescence) instruments (heavy metals only), and chemical analysis by an external certified laboratory.