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dirty soil

I'm contemplating setting up a 10gal with a clay + soil + chat substrate to
see 'how it does' in comparison with my clay + river pebble tank

The website found at http://home.infinet.net/teban/how-to.html talks about
what kind of soil to use, cautioning about using too 'rich' of a soil ...
they recommend using soil from an area where grass has been growing for

Other than the soil the grass itself is growing in, the "dirt" under it will
be clay, clay and sand or pure sand in this area (lots of sand dunes near
lake Michigan) ... sometimes contractors dig up someone's yard and just dump
piles of dirt on the sides of roads, but most of those piles are filled with
the poor grass that was dug up, roots, plenty of sand and who knows what
else.  Would this dirt be acceptable, assuming I used a colander or screen
to sift out the roots and grass?

About 30-50 years ago, my town was real big on producing as much pollution
as possible (iron plants, incinerators, various chemical companies), would
any contaminates in the soil still be there after this period of time,
and/or would they be likely to cause any problems for plants and fish that
might live in the tank?

Sorry for all the non-specific questions, just trying to get a general
handle on it and the experiment will tell the rest!