Types of Soil Pollution


There are many different types of soil pollution, each stemming from different origins. Each type of soil pollution causes different effects on the ground and can permanently damage the land for future use.

Underground Tanks

  • Underground storage tanks can be ruptured from improper safety guards during construction projects or simple wear from time. Many times, these tanks contain fuels or other fluids that damage the soil.


  • Runoff from farmland and agricultural fields causes soil pollution that can damage animal and plant life. In addition, rainwater can wash the chemicals used by farmers into water sources, which end up in soil far away from the site.

Soil Amendments

  • Soil amendments, byproducts from industry, can be used to amplify the nutrients within soil. However, many times, these products stem from industrial waste. Materials such as ash, lime and bio-solids can leave the soil contaminated over the long term.


  • According to a 2001 article in the journal "Environmental Management," landfills contain products that can leak into the soil. Sulfates, nitrates, heavy metals and other unnatural products pollute the ground.

Oil Spills

  • A 2009 article in the "Research Journal of Environmental Sciences" addresses the concern of oil spills on soil deposits. The study found that the fertility status of the land was greatly compromised after an oil spill.

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  • Photo Credit "STA_0320" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: World Resources Institute Staff (WRI Staff) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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