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Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County
7001 W. 21st Street N.
Wichita, Ks  67205
Map & Location

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday

316-660-0100
316-722-1432 fax
sg@listserv.ksu.edu

Soil and Water Testing

We offer soil testing services through the K-State Soil Testing Laboratory. You can bring your soil samples to our main reception desk during business hours to complete the paperwork, pay the fee, and have your sample submitted to the lab. Your results will typically be available in 2-3 weeks and will include written recommendations of what you need to do to improve your soil pH and nutrient levels.

Water testing is also done through the K-State Soil Testing Laboratory. We only test water for irrigation quality, NOT for bacteria or drinking water quality. An irrigation water quality test shows the level of soluble salts (salinity) and sodium in your water that may cause problems for your plants. You can bring your water samples to our main reception desk during business hours to complete the paperwork, pay the fee, and have your sample submitted to the lab. Your results will typically be available in 2-3 weeks and will include written recommendations of whether or not you can use your well water for irrigation safely. 

FAQs

How much does a soil or water test cost? 

Lawn or Garden Soil Sample (pH, N, P, K, OM)

  • $20 for the first sample
  • $15 for each additional sample submitted at the same time

Agricultural Soil Samples

  • Package #1 (pH, P, K)
    • $14.75 for the first sample
    • $9.75 for each additional sample submitted at the same time
  • Package #2 (#1 plus OM, Zn)
    • $19.75 for the first sample
    • $14.75 for each additional sample submitted at the same time
  • Environmental (#1 plus Zn, Cu, surface and subsoil nitrate and Cl)
    • $29.00 for the first sample
    • $24.00 for each additional sample submitted at the same time
  • Salt Alkali
  • Profile
  • #1 + CEC

Water Sample - $12.50 per sample

How do I submit a garden or yard soil sample for testing?

K-State requires about 2 cups of soil for a soil test. It is important to collect your soil correctly to get good results.

  1. Identify the area that you want to test. Each unique garden or area of your yard should be tested separately for best results. Problem areas should be tested separately.
  2. Collect 8-12 plugs of soil randomly throughout the area that you want to test. These plugs of soil should each include the soil from the surface to 6" deep.
  3. Mix all of the soil together in a bucket and then put 2 cups into a plastic bag or other container.
  4. Label the bag or container for each part of your yard or garden clearly so that you can match up the recommendations if you are having multiple tests done.
  5. If the soil is wet, allow it to air dry overnight or for a day or two.
  6. Bring your sample(s) to the main reception desk at the Extension office to complete your paperwork and pay the testing fee.

How do I submit a water sample for testing? 

  1. Use a clean container.
  2. Let the water run for long enough to remove any water left in the pipes. 
  3. Collect about 1 pint of water.
  4. Label the container clearly.
  5. Bring your sample to the main reception desk at the Extension office to complete your paperwork and pay the testing fee. 

How do I submit an agricultural field or pasture soil sample for testing? 

What you will need: soil probe or spade (probes can be checked out from extension office), bucket, resealable plastic bag, container, or soil sample bag 

  1. Identify areas you would like to sample. Problem or noticeably different areas should be sampled separately.
  2. Collect 10 to 12 plugs of soil from a uniform area that you are wanting to test. Take surface samples to a depth of 6 inches. If Nitrate, Sulfur or Chloride are to be tested a profile sample will be needed. A profile sample should be taken to a depth of 24 inches. If a surface nitrate reading is desired, the 0-6 inch plug will need to be kept separate from the 6-24 inch plug.
  3. Mix all of the soil plugs together in a bucket and then put 2 cups of soil into a labeled plastic bag or other container.
  4. If soil is damp or wet, allow it to air dry overnight or for a day or two.
  5. Bring sample(s) to the extension office front reception desk and pay for desired test.

What tests are included in a typical soil test? 

Lawn and Garden: pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, organic matter

Agricultural: pH, phosphorus, potassium

What additional soil tests are available? How much do they cost? 

Other nutrients and tests that can be run include: calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), cation exchange capacity (CEC), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), ammonium (NH4), sulfate (SO4), chloride (Cl), aluminum (Al), texture, soluble salts, and salt alkali.

The lab can also test for heavy metal contamination: lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and chromium (Cr). If you are interested in heavy metal testing, the soil sampling procedure is slightly different. You should collect soil from only the area that you are most concerned about the heavy metal levels. 

Additional fees apply for each additional test selected. 

Contact Information

Have Questions? Contact:

Sedgwick County 
Horticulture and Agriculture
7001 W. 21st St. North
Wichita KS 67205-1759
(316) 660-0143
Fax (316)722-1432

Zach Simon
Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent
(316) 660-0153
zsimon@ksu.edu

Matt McKernan
Ornamental Horticulture Agent
(316) 660-0140
mckernan@ksu.edu 

Rebecca McMahon
Horticultural Food Crops Agent
(316) 660-0142
rmcmahon@ksu.edu

Jackie Fees
Office Professional Ag & Hort
(316) 660-0143
jfees@ksu.edu