What is Soil Remediation?

Environmental Site Assessment

Generally speaking, contamination occurs when years of improper industrial activities have taken place on-site. This could be from unsuitable waste disposal methods or even pollution from agricultural activities. Soil contamination can also occur with the presence of underground storage tanks that leak. If the subject site had a landfill in the past, it also concerns because their waste can produce leachates that are harmful to the environment. Any form of contamination is a significant cause for concern as it poses threats to human health, animals, and the environment. Some types of contaminants release vapours or can be ingested directly if leaked into the water supply pipes.

Approach to Soil Remediation

The first step is to conduct a Phase I ESA to determine if contamination exists, which involves completing a records review and visual site inspection. If past activities indicate that contamination may exist, the assessor will move on to a Phase II ESA. This phase requires collecting samples of the contaminated media which are analyzed at a lab. The results dictate what the media’s composition is, and when contamination is confirmed, a Phase III ESA with a remediation plan is initiated.

Remediation is required when environmental contamination has been confirmed through a Phase I and Phase II ESA. Environmental remediation is usually considered to be Phase III of Environmental Site Assessments. This process involves removing chemicals from the soil, groundwater, surface water, or any form of environmental media. The types of chemicals that indicate contamination exists are any form of hydrocarbons, volatiles, semi volatiles, Sulphur, lead, heavy metals or cyanides. There are three main types of environmental remediation. This includes:

  • Sediment remediation
  • Groundwater remediation
  • Soil remediation

Also Read: A Definitive Guide on Geotechnical Reports and Soil Testing Expenses

Sediment remediation is required when clay, sand, or other sediments are contaminated in a water body. Groundwater or surface water remediation is necessary when the quality of water is below safe levels due to contaminants. This can occur when there are abandoned wells, septic tanks, landfills, etc. Surface water is more susceptible to contamination since it is water found in lakes, rivers, or other significant bodies. The contamination can also come from industrial wastes, agricultural wastes, etc.

Also Read: What Are Environmental Site Assessments and How Are They Prepared?

The focus of this article is on soil remediation. Soil remediation, simply put, is when contaminants or pollutants that exist in the soil are removed. Depending on the type of chemical that exists, the remedial process can be thermal, physical, biological, or chemical.

Thermal remediation is usually used when there are hydrocarbon contaminants. It includes heating the contaminated media to evaporate water and other hydrocarbon impurities. A Primary Treatment Unit (PTU) is used to carry out the evaporation step in thermal remediation and is operated at high temperatures ranging from 340°C to 500°C. Then, the material is transferred to a cooling unit which is cooled by adding water. Once the material is discharged from the cooling unit, it is tested and recycled.

To request a Free Consultation click here

Pinaaz Rahman

Project Coordinator-Environmentalist at prycoglobal
Pinaaz is a Chemical Engineering graduate who has years of experience conducting Environmental Site Assessments. She studied at University of Alberta and brings a fresh perspective on projects. Pinaaz has an impressive background in process analysis/design and is our lead Environmentalist.
Pinaaz Rahman

Related Post

  • Unlocking the Advantages of Environmental Remediation Solutions

    Environmental remediation solutions play a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges, safeguarding health integrity

    Read more

  • Environmental Remediation Across Industries: Beyond the Pipeline

    Environmental remediation refers to the process of restoring contaminated or degraded soil, water, and air due to the impact

    Read more

  • Top 5 Benefits of ESA Remediation

    Intro to Phase I Phase II and Phase III ESA 

    While p

    Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *