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What you should know about soil contaminants and testing

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2021 | Environmental Law |

Property owners may wish to get a lab-quality soil test for a number of reasons. Most importantly, they can reveal if the land has potentially dangerous contaminants.

Soil testing may be an important item of due diligence before buying a home, using land for any type of agricultural activity, and taking on certain types of building projects. Here are some things you should know about the process of conducting a soil test.

What leads to soil contamination?

Industrial land use can contaminate the ground, and the pollutants can remain present indefinitely. Also, spills of harmful substances such as propane or improper disposal of chemicals such as motor oil could generate negative results on tests.

What are the possible dangers?

Some people may conclude that soil contamination on a property would not present any real danger unless there were plans to plant fruits and vegetables. However, it is important to remember that toxins in dirt can harm wildlife and pets. Some hazardous materials in the soil such as lead could be dangerous to people who come into contact with it. The danger to children is greater.

What will test results show?

A test can tell you if there are significant levels of a toxin in samples of several areas. Also, high pH levels could indicate problematic conditions. Testing can alert you if you may need to take action to remediate an area.

Ultimately, soil contaminants could represent a serious health and safety hazard. Furthermore, they can create serious liability concerns for property owners and depreciate a property’s value.