Rooting, wallowing, and trampling activities compact soils, which in turn disrupts water infiltration and nutrient cycling. Also, these soil disturbances contribute to the spread of invasive plant species, which typically favor disturbed areas and colonize them more quickly than many native plants.
Wild pig activity in streams reduces water quality by increasing turbidity (excessive silt and particle suspension) and bacterial contamination. In time, turbidity and added contaminants affect a variety of native aquatic life, most notably fish, freshwater mussels, amphibians, and insect larvae.
In some streams, feces from wild pigs have increased fecal coliform concentrations to levels exceeding human health standards.