Environmental remediation is the process of removing pollution or toxic contaminants from environmental components such as the water bodies, soil, or sediment. It is usually implemented by environmental remedial services that aim to protect people and the environment from damage that has already been done to natural resources.
The first step before taking on any environmental remediation measures is an assessment of the site that is contaminated. The assessment includes sampling and chemical analysis to be done on the natural elements of the site.
The two main types of methods used in treating contamination are ex-situ and in-situ technologies. Ex-situ technology of remediation is treatment after the extraction of the contaminated soil or water from their place and cleaning them on the surface on a different site. The in-situ technology of cleaning has different methods of remediating the elements on site.
The different methods of remediation are:
- Thermal desorption: The desorber used makes the contaminants within the soil volatile which separates them from the soil. They are then collected or destroyed.
- Dredging/Excavation: Excavation is the hauling of contaminated soil to a regulated contamination landfill. Some new technologies remediate the half-volatile compounds directly in the place of contamination. Dredging is used in the case of water bodies. With dredging, the bottom of the water source is removed. The removed mud or clay can then be remediated using chemical oxidation.
- Surfactant Enhanced Aquifer Remeditation: This process involves stabilizing the components through the injection of hydrocarbon mitigation agents. This speeds-up the desorption and recovery of sites that have failed with other methods or as a supplementary method to a combined approach of remediation.
- Pump and treat: Done on site, this method pumps contaminated groundwater with a pump and runs it through a series of filters that absorb contaminants. The water is returned back into the soil.
- Stabilization and solidification: Uses additional reagents to contaminated elements to stabilize toxic compounds and prevent them from spreading into other places through different environmental transfers
- Oxidation: An on-site method using strong oxidants such as hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen speeds the growth of aerobic bacteria which naturally attenuates contaminants.
- Soil vapor extraction
- Nanoremeditation: Nanoparticles are injected into the contaminated source. The nanoparticles are designed to degrade contaminants or immobilize them from doing any damage.
- Bioremediation: Treats pollution by stimulating the growth of added microorganisms that can degrade pollution.
- Collapsing air microbubbles: Cleans through generated air microbubbles in water. Used to clean oil contamination
In-situ remediation involves certain risks to the people nearby the site. There are significant noise and dust involved in the process depending on the technology used. Before using environmental remediation services, the community should be contacted as a remediation project can potentially affect each individual located nearby.