Seven Common Causes of Soil Contamination

There are many reasons why soil might become contaminated, and only a soil expert can determine the type of contamination and recommended treatment plans. As you are looking for assistance, keep in mind that you need more than basic soil testing. It’s also essential to find a team that can help with soil remediation services in New Jersey.

The most common reasons for soil contamination are related to man-made pollutants that are either intentionally or accidentally put into the environment. Not only is there a concern about the quality of the soil, but these contaminants can contribute to air pollution, acid rain, and other ecosystem concerns. For example, if there is a problem with soil that contains harmful pollutants and particulates, these issues can play a role in air quality.

Here are a few reasons why soil contamination often occurs. This information will help you know if you have an issue that requires soil remediation.

Improper Waste Disposal

Certain hazardous materials require special disposal techniques to minimize the risk of the pollutants entering the soil or groundwater. The problem is that some people dispose of these items incorrectly, leading to soil contamination. 

Any time solid waste is managed improperly, it can affect soil properties and pollution in the area. It actually changes the chemistry of the soil, which degrades the strength and stability of the soil. So, it’s important to be proactive with proper trash disposal to avoid these issues.

Agricultural Chemicals

Many chemical substances are used in farming. Although various organizations around the world, including the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, have banned certain chemicals and pesticides, many of these products are approved for use in farming and food production.

These products can positively impact crop yields, which addresses some of our food chain concerns. They are helpful because they make it easier to manage weeds, bugs, and other pests that could damage the crop.

The problem is that using these toxic chemicals in agriculture means that the chemicals are being put into our soil over and over again. If a farm has been treated with too many chemicals, then eventually it becomes difficult to grow anything. Additionally, there are health concerns because of soil pollution. So, if you are dealing with these issues, then it’s essential to reach out for soil remediation services in New Jersey.

Corrosion of Underground Storage Tanks and Piping

Even when quality metals are used for piping and underground storage tanks, wear and tear can occur over time. If these metal items start to corrode, then heavy metals can start to seep into the earth and cause soil contamination.

In addition to the concerns about soil pollution, it’s also important to consider the health risks for people who are using the water coming through these pipes. If you have an old storage tank or piping that you are replacing, then it’s a good idea to bring in a soil testing expert at the same time to test the area and determine if you need soil remediation services.


The most common reason why soil contamination occurs near mines is because of mining waste that leaks into the environment. These can be harmful substances that affect the ecosystem and cause health concerns for everyone in the area.

There are many ways that mining byproducts affect the soil, especially when you consider the long-term effects of these waste products. The soil becomes unstable and it has an unsuitable substrate structure. Additionally, the soil is lacking in nutrients and has unbalanced pH levels.

Soil near mines should be tested. Even if the mine is no longer in operation, it’s possible that old activities caused soil contamination. If soil remediation services haven’t been completed, then there could be serious concerns about the safety of the soil.

Contaminated Water

Contaminated water and soil pollution can be a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. For example, if water is contaminated with pollutants, it’s not only unsafe for human consumption, but these pollutants are seeping into the soil.

On the other hand, soil pollutants can wash into bodies of water (such as rivers and lakes), causing water contamination. So, when you are evaluating options for soil remediation services in New Jersey, it’s also smart to see if water cleanup services are also required. Often, these services go hand-in-hand.

Oil Spills

When an oil spill happens, it makes headlines in all of the major news outlets for a reason: oil spills can cause serious issues in the environment. Recent and old oil spills can result in a continuing source of contamination that is leaking into the soil and the groundwater.

The concern is that oil spills are becoming more and more common due to the increase in petroleum extraction, oil refineries, and the necessary transportation to move these products. Each time oil is being moved or processed, there is another risk of potential environmental contamination. 

Soil that is contaminated by oil spills is affected in many ways. For example, the compaction of the soil changes, there is a decrease in nutrient availability, and it takes a toll on plant growth.

Industrial Activities

Various types of byproducts can be sent into the environment from industrial activity. Manufacturing is one of the major offenders, contributing to polluted soil through the byproducts and contaminants that are released into the air or surrounding soil.

These issues are more common in urban areas or where higher concentrations of manufacturing are occurring. 

Schedule Your Soil Remediation Service in New Jersey

If you are a property owner and need assistance with soil remediation services in New Jersey, then our team at Mikula is just a phone call away. We invite you to reach out at your convenience to learn more about these quality services.

At Mikula we will handle the digging for soil remediation however you will need an environmental company (which we can help provide) to pinpoint how much of the soil needs to be remediated, how it can be disposed of, and identify what will be needed to replace the soil removed. Call today to see how we can help!

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