Industries and factories are a necessary part of building a country. However, the wastage released by the industries contaminates the soil, water bodies, and groundwater over time. The areas around the industries become harmful for human and animal inhabitation. Several other long-term side effects harm the environment and living beings.
Governments set up regulations to minimize this damage and reverse it through environmental remediation. The contamination (going on for years) is removed and cleaned to make the region safe for living beings. The responsibility is given to industries. Since all enterprises are not well-equipped to deal with remediation, they take the assistance of companies that offer environmental site assessment and remediation services.
Let’s look at ways to remediate contaminated soil cheaply and quickly, that too without compromising quality and adhering to the government’s standards.
What is Soil Remediation?
Soil remediation is the process of removing contamination from the soil through tried and tested methodologies. Soil contamination is caused by chemicals, heavy metals, leakages, and improper wastage disposal by industries. From solvents and pesticides to man-made compounds and even hazardous reactive elements can be found in contaminated soil.
It is alarming that more contaminations are identified using advanced lab testing methods. It goes to show the extent of damage the environment had to bear in the name of progress and development. Luckily, we also have methods to get rid of the contaminants and clean the environment.
Treatments for Soil Remediation
The first step to soil remediation is to thoroughly assess the extent of damage and the type of contaminants present in the surroundings. A site investigation is carried out by experts to analyze the soil, groundwater, and any other water bodies present on the site.
The reports of the lab tests will determine whether the soil can be remediated and what success rate can be expected from the project. That’s because remediation is usually an expensive process and has various legal constraints. It’s vital to determine the feasibility of the project before choosing the best type of treatment.
Soil remediation is broadly classified into three types:
- In-situ: It is the process of breaking down and purifying harmful substances through the impregnation of subsurface soil with nutrients.
- Ex-situ: It is the process of treating contaminated soil away from the polluted site. The soil is taken to landfills for treatment.
- Others: These treatments are vast and varying, depending on the contamination and financial limitations.
In-situ and Ex-situ processes have a few common treatment methods, such as:
- Physical: Soil washing and using water to remove contaminants from soil. Organic pollutants and heavy metals are easily removed through this method.
- Soil Stabilization: Immobilizing agents are added to reduce the spreading of contaminants in soil.
- Chemical: Convert contaminated soil to non-hazardous soil through chemical oxidation.
- Thermal: Heat in varying temperatures is used to destroy or eliminate contaminants in soil.
- Biological: Use of bacteria to break down soil contaminants. This treatment costs lesser than other methods.
- Soil Shredding: It is another cost-effective solution to remove soil contaminants and works great to remove hydrocarbons.
- Excavation: The contaminated soil is loosened, removed, and carried away to another site for treatment or disposal.
- Barriers: Barriers are constructed to limit the contamination to the site and prevent it from damaging the surroundings.
- Capping: The contaminated soil is covered to prevent precipitation from causing more damage.
- Soil Solidification: Bonding agents are mixed with contaminated soil to solidify the contaminants for easy removal.
- Vapour Extraction: High vapour pressure is used on contaminated soil to get rid of volatile compounds. It is cost-effective, less labour-intensive, and low maintenance.
- Electrochemical: Contaminants like heavy metals are removed using electrolysis, electrosmosis, electrophoresis, etc.
Cost of Remediation
The cost of environmental remediation depends on the project. Aspects such as the size of the site, the nature of contaminants, disposal and remediation techniques selected, the complexity of remediation, legal challenges, and the environmental professionals involved determine the final cost of the remediation project. Factors such as logistics, disposal, etc., also play a vital role.
It’s crucial to analyze the contaminants and soil condition correctly the first time. This will save money and the effort required to rework the soil again. Choose the best soil remediation method to effectively clean the soil and groundwater.
Pryco Global is a Canadian company with more than twenty-five years of experience in the construction industry. We worked with clients from three continents and offer a range of services, such as geotechnical engineering, property condition assessment, project management, and environmental site assessment. We work with the small, medium, and large enterprises to deliver projects within the stipulated budget and timeline. Pryco Global offers services across the greater Vancouver and Alberta regions.