While you may not think about it, the soil that we stand on is something that affects us every single day. When we have contaminants or waste material in our soil, it is important that soil is remediated quickly and efficiently to ensure the protection and health of those around us. In this article, we will take a deeper look into what soil remediation is, and what techniques can be used.
What is Soil Remediation?
Soil remediation is the process of removing containments from the soil. This contamination can come from improper disposal of waste, oil, and fuel dumping, or leaching of waste from landfills. The biggest concern associated with soil contamination is the harm it can cause to human health. The EPA and other agencies regulate the levels of soil contamination, and failure to clean up contamination can result in hefty fines.
Types of Soil Remediation
There are two types of soil remediation: in situ and ex-situ. In situ means in place or on-site, while ex-situ means off-site. In-situ involves cleaning the soil where it is currently situated, whereas ex-situ involves having the soil excavated and then taken off-site. In situ is a more cost-effective solution, as it doesn’t require the use of excavation. But, while ex-situ might be more expensive and extend the length of the process, it allows for no further damage to be done at the current site.
Soil Remediation Methods
There are many different methods and technology when it comes to soil remediation. The three main soil remediation methods are; soil washing, bioremediation, and thermal desorption.
Soil washing: This is a water-based process where the soil is scrubbed to remove contaminants. This is accomplished by either dissolving or suspending the soil in a wash solution. Or by concentrating soil into a smaller volume by gravity separation or attrition scrubbing.
Bioremediation: This process uses microorganisms to break down and absorb contaminants in the soil. Bioremediation techniques are classified by either in-situ or ex-situ techniques. In-situ treats polluted sites in a non-destructive manner that is more cost-effective. While ex-situ requires the contaminated site to be excavated which can increase costs.
Thermal desorption: This technique utilizes heat to increase the volatility of contamination, so it can be separated from a solid. This produces a sludge or filter cake, that is then collected or destroyed thermally.
Factors such as type of contaminant, its location and concentration, and its chemical and physical composition go into the process of deciding which technique is right for a project site. By surveying and collecting samples from a site, it allows us to come up with the best soil remediation strategy for your project.
As soil remediation experts, we will service your needs in a cost-effective manner utilizing the knowledge obtained through our extensive track record of working on a wide variety of sites with site-specific conditions, systems, and regulations. We have the necessary experience to evaluate and assess an existing system on-site and provide recommendations and implementation for system optimization.