As part of a site investigation in the late 1980s for the construction of a new road, a large number of pH and sulphate determinations were made with two thirds of samples having measured pH of less than 5.5 and one result as low as 2.3. The implications for the design of buried concrete and pipework are significant. As there was some doubt whether these values represented in situ conditions, a further programme of field and laboratory testing involving both standard and non-standard test methods was carried out. This confirmed that the low values measured in the original investigation were misleading.

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