- The process by which chemicals are dissolved and transported through the soil by percolating water. Pesticides and nutrients from fertilizers or manures may leach from fields, areas of spills, or feedlots and thereby enter surface water, groundwater, or soil. Leaching from concentrated sources such as waste sites and loading areas vulnerable to spills can be prevented by paving or containment with a liner of relatively impermeable material designed to keep leachate inside a treatment pond, landfill, or a tailings disposal area. Liner materials include plastic and dense clay.
- a natural process by which chemicals and minerals are transported downwards through a soil-profile.