Monday, April 29, 2013

An Introduction to Soil Remediation

Soil Remediation?

Soil remediation is part of a broader process called environmental remediation. It is the collective term used for different techniques used to purify and revitalize soil. Problems are generally caused by contaminants which are substances either currently causing undesirable effect or will possibly cause an undesirable effect in the future. The main aim of remediation efforts is the reduction of these contaminant concentrations within the soil to lower levels so that land area will be more suitable for use without the environmental risks.

There are a lot of various methods which can be applied in dealing with soil contamination, and some more effective than others. In selecting the most effective method, it is important to know the following: its impact on other surrounding living things in the vicinity, nature of soil contamination, and how successful the activity is projected to be. It is possible for an area to go through multiple soil remediation processes to handle multiple contaminants.

Soil Remediation Methods

As with other environmental problems, topsoil remediation processes can be put into three major categories:

1. Soil Treatment - reduce amount of contaminants to safe levels

2. Physical removal - eliminate the concentrations entirely

3. Stabilization - combine the contaminant with other substances to remove the risk of the contaminant

Soil remediation is sometimes done by eliminating contaminated ground water then purifying the extracted liquid. This process is known as pump and treat. The soil is also extracted and contaminants are removed by filtering, and then returned to its original location.

Excavation and dredging may be considered among the most common processes used in topsoil remediation. This process involves setting aside a landfill for contaminated soil which is extracted using current technology. The contaminated soil is transported to the landfill and purified soil is often used to replace the area where the contaminated soil was extracted.

Now, newer and more effective methods are being developed, thanks to the fast advancement of our current technology. Most of these efforts for soil remediation are structured at national government levels to rid the ground of harmful contaminants making it suitable to be used as dwellings, farms, and wildlife habitat. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, issues directives on the approach to soil remediation. These directives are collated to form the country's soil remediation standards. The Council of the Ministers of the Environment in Canada provides support to each province's efforts of remediation. The United Kingdom and Australia are also two countries known to actively engage in land remediation strategies.

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