Soil Testing

Soil (sometimes called dirt) is the combination of rock, mineral fragments (pieces), organic matter (dead and living things), water, and air. It is mostly made up of grains of rock weathered by wind, rain, sun, snow, etc., and varying amounts of humus. The type of soil depends on the mix of humus and on the size of the grains of the rock. The grains can be very small and smooth, such as clay, or they can be larger, like grains of sand or even a piece of gravel. Soils are important to our ecosystem for six main reasons:

1. Soils are a place for plants to grow;
2. Soils control the speed and the purity of water that moves through them;
3. Soils recycle nutrients from dead animals and plants;
4. Soils change the air that surrounds the earth, called the atmosphere;
5. Soils are a place to live for animals, insects and very small living things called microorganisms;
6. Soils are the oldest and the most used building materials. The climate is very important when soil is made. Soil from different climates can have very different qualities.
Along with Air and Water pollution, Soil Pollution is an equally serious issue that the modern-day world confronted with. Soil Pollution is the contamination of Soil of a particular region. Causes of Soil Pollution are:

• Industrial wastes such as harmful gases and chemicals, agricultural pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides are the most common causes of soil pollution.
• Ignorance towards soil management and related systems.
• Unfavourable and harmful irrigation practices.
• Improper septic system and management and maintenance of the same.
• Leakages from sanitary sewage.
• Acid Rains, when fumes released from industries gets mixed with rains.
• Fuel leakage from automobiles, that get washed away due to rain and seep into the nearby soil.
• Unhealthy waste management techniques, which are characterized by release of sewage into the large dumping grounds and nearby streams or rivers.
Due to these, soil is polluted and the effects of pollution on soil are quite alarming and can cause huge disturbances in the ecological balance and health of living creatures on earth. Some of the most serious Soil Pollution effects are:
• Decrease in Soil fertility and therefore decrease in the soil yield.
• Loss of soil and natural nutrients present in it. Plants also do not live in such soil, which would further result in Soil erosion.
• Disturbance in the balance of flora residing in the soil.
• Increase in the salinity of the soil, which therefore makes it unfit for vegetation, thus making it useless.
• Generally crops cannot grow and flourish in polluted soil. Yet, if some crops manage to grow, they would be poisonous enough to cause serious health problems in people consuming them.
• Creation of toxic dust is another potential effect of Soil Pollution.
• Foul smell due to Industrial chemicals and gases might result in head aches, fatigue, nausea etc., in many people.
• Soil Pollutants brings alteration in the soil structure, which would lead to death of many essential organisms in it.

The tests for Soil are physical and Chemical parameters which includes:
PH, Conductivity, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Chlorides, COD, Sieve Analysis etc.,