Soil contaminated by broken sewer pipe

Asked November 5, 2016, 10:13 PM EDT

In digging the holes for the footings for an extension of our front porch, the contractor discovered that the sewer pipe was broken. For the last couple of years the soil under the porch and under the sidewalk extending from the porch has been washing out. We now know why!! In digging out the area to cut out the broken pipe and replace it with a PVC pipe, some of the soil that surrounded the sewer pipe ended up on my newly planted parsley. Also, some of that soil is now on top of the garden in other places where I had planned to plant more parsley and some lettuces. Is it a bad idea to eat the parsley or to plant more in that soil? It is mixed with LeafGro and with the soil that was on top of the garden for the last 15 years at least. There was no sewer smell until after they replaced the cast iron pipe with the PVC pipe and filled in the hole. I can smell some sewer smell near the porch, but not in the area I wish to plant edibles. Your advice is most welcome. Thanks. cl

Anne Arundel County Maryland soil sewage contamination

2 Responses

This is a difficult question to answer and we have no research. We cannot say when soil that was contaminated by sewage will be safe for food gardening. You may want to use this area for planting ornamentals and select another area for planting edibles.

Ok. Thanks. cl