Soil remediation, also known as soil washing, is the process used to remove any contamination from soil. Having healthy soil helps vegetation growth as well as contributing towards healthier groundwater and air quality too.
There are a number of different remediation techniques you can use to decontaminate soil. The best way will be determined by soil sampling, but here are some of the most common.
Thermal soil remediation
This method is used to clean soil by subjecting it to high temperatures. Thermal soil remediation is most effective on soil that has been contaminated with water, petroleum products or oil.
Because of the high temperatures involved, the soil bakes and causes the contaminants to evaporate into the air. These contaminants are then collected, cooled and disposed of properly, leaving clean soil behind. Once the treatment has finished the soil will then be retested to check for levels of contamination left behind.
A process used by a Land remediation Service like Soilfix https://soilfix.co.uk/services/groundwater-soil-remediation-services is encapsulation. It’s different from other processes because it filters out the contaminants and then makes sure that they can’t keep spreading.
Think of encapsulation like a sort of soil quarantine. Mixing the contaminated soil with some cement, concrete and lime stops it coming into contact with other, clean soil. It’s very effective but it makes the soil unusable for cultivation. This method is only suitable in situations when you don’t want to use the soil again for any sort of growing.
If the soil has been contaminated by poisonous vapours or gases, the air sparging method of cleaning soil is the way to go. In this treatment, large amounts of air is pressurised are injected into the soil. This helps to remove any volatile organic compounds that a carbon filtering system wouldn’t be able to treat.
Instead of mechanical methods of filtering, this process uses biological components to remove contaminants from the soil. Contaminated soil will be treated by being exposed to bacteria that will feed on the specific contaminant contained in the soil.
The bacteria will immediately go to work, breaking down these contaminants as well as the hydrocarbons to leave behind clean, usable soil. It requires very specific conditions to work, but is effective when done properly.