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Environmental Cleanup: 3 Popular Methods Used In Soil Remediation

In our modern times, soil contamination is quite common as man continues to produce waste and pollution. The most common causes for soil pollution include both industrial and agricultural activities, waste disposal, accidental spills, and acid rain. Unfortunately, once soil is contaminated with a chemical or harmful substance, it causes harm to the environment and everything living within the environment can be negatively affected by it. That's why environmental remediation crews are working tirelessly to remove contamination from soil. Following are some of the most popular methods they use in soil remediation. 

Excavation and Dredging

Excavation and dredging involves removing or digging up the affected soil and removing it so it can be cleaned or stored off-site. Excavation occurs on dry land, while dredging involves soil found beneath water sources. Once removed from the ground, the soil is cleaned and returned to the ground unless it is contaminated with dangerous materials, such as nuclear waste. In this case, the soil is usually removed and placed in secure containers. This is one of the oldest methods used to remove contamination. Although newer, more technologically advanced methods exist, it is still the most common form of remediation. 

Solidification and Stabilization

Solidification and stabilization involves adding materials to the soil that is contaminated to keep the contaminant from leeching into the surrounding soil or entering the groundwater supply. An example of solidification is mixing concrete with affected soil to form a solid block of material. Stabilization, usually used with arsenic and mercury, involves adding binding agents to the soil that keeps the contaminants in place. Binding agents may also counteract some of the negative affects of the contaminant by neutralizing it. 

Bioremediation and Microorganisms

In bioremediation, microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria, are introduced to the contaminated soil. Once introduced, the organisms slowly and naturally start to break down the contaminants. This is a popular method used in oil spills. However, it is a lengthy process. It can take quite a while to completely decontaminate a site. Regular checks have to be performed throughout the process to see how the cleanup is progressing. 

Other methods, such as oxidation, may be used as well. Oxidation involves adding chemical oxidants to increase the amount of oxygen found in the soil. With plenty of oxygen, bacteria and microorganisms can start cleaning up the area. 

As you can see, there are several ways that environmental cleanup crews can remove pollutants from the soil. The method used depends primarily on the type of spill or contamination involved. 

For environmental remediation, contact a company such as A. G. Wassenaar, Inc.


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