The first step when buying property is learning about the soil and if it meets your needs and is suitable and safe for plants to grow, animals to graze and play, and for your family to enjoy your home. You can always get your soil tested to find out if it is contaminated. Continue reading for some tips here for recognizing signs of soil contamination.
How Does Soil Become Contaminated?
Your first thought may be, what would cause soil contamination? Perhaps waste was disposed of in the area by the prior owner. This improper waste disposal could include heavy metals or toxic materials that do not wash out like normal dirt and grime. In addition, many other factors could contribute to your soil being contaminated including where the land is located, what the land was used for prior to you owning the land, and how old your home or building is just to name a few.
Ask our Mikula Contracting team about soil sampling to find out if contaminated soil is present on your property.
What Are the Dangers of Contaminated Soil?
Contaminated soil is dangerous for several reasons, most of which are related to your family’s proximity to the soil. For example, think about the food chain. If you grow plants and vegetables in a garden on the property, the contaminants can leach into the food you eat. Also, leaded paint is a worry regarding soil contamination. If the home was built before the 1970s, it’s possible that the paint chipped off and fell into the soil. Or the runoff from a painting job seeped into the soil. Similarly, arsenic was used on kid play structures as a preservative for the paint before it was banned.
The possibility of poisoning your children and pets with substances like lead and arsenic are good enough reasons to check for soil contamination.
Here are some ways to check for soil contamination.
Tell Tale Signs Your Soil May Be Contaminated
There are various ways to determine if your soil has been contaminated. Below are some tell tale signs that your soil may be contaminated.
Discoloration of the Soil
Usually, soil mixes together evenly to present a consistent color and texture. If your soil is discolored or stained in some spots, it may be a sign of soil contamination. In addition, an accumulation of oil or sticky substances may point to a toxic substance on your property.
If the appearance of your soil makes you feel uneasy, it is always a good idea to get it checked out.
Strong or Unpleasant Odor
Contaminated soil will not always present a smell. But if your soil was contaminated with petroleum, you would be able to smell the substance mixed in with the soil. Talk to a contractor to find out if your soil smells normal.
On the other hand, if your soil is contaminated with heavy metals, lead, or arsenic, you will not be able to identify it through smell. Be careful about writing off soil contamination just because you do not smell anything suspicious.
The soil will start to blow away and erode when it does not have plant life to keep it grounded. Erosion and its lack of life is a good sign that something is off in the soil.
Lack of Animals or Plant Life
Do you notice that nothing is growing on your plot of land? Do birds ever land in the area for a rest? Does wildlife avoid your property completely?
The absence of plant and animal life on the property is a sure sign that the soil is contaminated and unsafe. Plants do not grow in bad soil. It’s time to call Mikula Contracting to check out the area and identify the problem.
Solutions for Soil Contamination
Soil remediation is the solution to soil contamination. You can cleanse your property’s soil, so it is safe again. Here are some examples of soil remediation:
- Excavation: Remove the soil completely and replace it with fresh backfill soil.
- Blending: Sometimes, you can “water down” the concentration of the harmful substance by mixing the existing soil with new soil. If it is not as concentrated, it will not pose a threat. This is to be done by professionals and tested after the mixing to make sure the soil is safe.
- Removed and Treated: You can always excavate the soil and get it cleansed at a treatment plant to be replaced on the property. The team will test it thoroughly and make sure the treated soil is safe and ready for plant life.
- Bioremediation: Some bacteria or fungi break down the toxicities found in contaminated soil. You can use these microorganisms to make your soil clean again.
- Cover the Area: This is not a long-term fix to your soil contamination problem. But you can always pour a patio or driveway over the area and not worry about growing grass. Dangers to animals and children may still be present with this option.
- “Capping”: Another quick fix includes layering a foot of fresh soil over the top of the contaminated soil, hoping the contaminants do not travel to the new soil.
Please remember It’s critical to make sure you are working with a reputable environmental firm and excavation company that will ensure you are compliant with all regulations and handle your needs accordingly.
Consult Mikula Contracting for Soil Contamination Concerns
Mikula Contracting can help you with soil sampling and testing to detect soil contamination on your property. Our excavation team is skilled in soil remediation and can find a solution to your problem. You may feel overwhelmed about where to start, which is why our trusted team can answer any questions you have.
We are leaders in the excavation industry, helping cleanse soil and restore your yard to a safe and flourishing place. Contact Mikula Contracting to get a free quote.