Soil pollution caused by multi-component mixed pollutant, salt solution or non-aqueous phase organic (NAPLs) has become the common geotechnical environment problems. Soil pollution is defined as the presence of toxic chemicals (pollutants or contaminants) in the soil, in high enough concentrations to pose a risk to human health and/or the ecosystem. The demand for land continues and as greenfield urban sites become scarce there is an increasing need to rehabilitate existing sites for new usage. Government, local authorities, and organizations are increasingly focusing on social, environmental and commercial solutions that support human health and the environment so you need advice from environmental consultants who are experts in contaminated land assessment in Queensland.

How does soil become contaminated?

When man-made chemicals come into contact with clean soil, soil at a residential property can become contaminated. Some other sources of soil contamination may be wastes that leach from operational or closed landfills, runoff from livestock manure, direct dumping of hazardous industrial waste, waste piles from mining operations, septic systems and leach fields that breach their boundaries, and storage cisterns that burst underground. According to reports on contaminated land assessment in Queensland, the three most widespread pollutants in urban and rural residential soils are lead, arsenic, and cadmium.

Here we will discuss six visible signs that help you detect if there is contamination present in a soil environment.

  • Soil staining and discoloration, as well as ‘slimy’ or ‘oily’ patches, are generally a sign that there is an abundance of a substance that does not naturally occur in the soil.
  • When there is an abundance of a foreign substance trapped in the soil, it can sometimes produce a distinctive odor.
  • Soil contamination changes the metabolism of microorganisms and arthropods living in the soil and the chemicals they consume become more concentrated as they move up the food chain, as a result soil contamination often wipes out predator or consumer species.
  • Soil contamination also alters the plant metabolism, causing plants to weaken, wither and die.
  • If a previously vegetated area is cleared through contamination, it has a secondary effect of soil erosion, as the vegetation is no longer present to protect the soil from being blown or washed away.
  • A classic and obvious sign of lead contamination due to paint is the presence of paint chips in the soil around a building.