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Soil can be contaminated by many different human activities when hazardous substances are not used, stored or disposed of safely. Instances of soil contamination are highest in urban areas and former industrial sites, where manufacturing, industrial dumping, land development, waste disposal, and excessive pesticide or fertilizer use could potentially occur.

Some contaminants, such as agricultural chemicals, are applied to the soil surface. Others are released below the surface, due to leaks from buried tanks, sewage pipes, or landfills. Atmospheric contaminants containing hazardous substances can also cause problems. Furthermore, contamination is not always limited to a specific site and can seep through the soil into groundwater or be carried to nearby land and waterways in rainwater, or as dust.

Harmful effects of soil contamination.

People and animals can be exposed to soil contaminants in several ways: by ingesting soil; by breathing violates and dust; by absorbing contaminants through the skin; or by eating food grown in contaminated soil. Depending on the type of contaminant and the level of exposure, soil contamination can have serious health implications. This can significantly limit potential land use, precluding building and the environment will continue to present a risk unless, or until, soil remediation has occurred.

Common treatment methods for contaminated soil.

Thermal Soil Remediation: One method of how to remediate soil is through the use of heat. When you apply the heat to the soil, it turns the contaminant into a gas, releasing the gas into the air. This is most often done with oil remediation. The soil is placed into an oven, where the heat is turned way up. The oil turns into gas and floats away. Then the soil is replaced when clean to be used again. 

Encapsulation: This technique does not remediate the soil but instead creates a barrier so that the contaminant does not spread further. Think of it as placing an invisible shield around all the contaminated soil. As the water circulates through the soil, the contaminants will not leak through. 

Air Sparging: This method is mainly used when toxic gas or vapors have contaminated the soil. The process involves highly pressurized air being blown into the soil to remove any gaseous contaminants. Air sparging does not involve the removal of the soil for treatment. The large volumes of pressurized air flow through the soil, replacing the toxic gas with new, clean air. 

This technique is mostly used for hydrocarbons and is a proven method for soil remediation. Because the soil does not have to be removed for treatment, it saves a few steps in the process. 

Proper Drainage: One way of how to remediate salty soil is first by tilling the soil, breaking up the large blocks of clay—then increasing the irrigation water to flush out the salty soil. The amount of water that flows through your soil will affect the soil’s health.

Leaching: When it comes to removing salts in the soil, leaching is an excellent answer to how to remediate salty soil. Leaching is the process of adding salt-free water to the soil to flush out the salty soil. If you are working with saline soil with proper drainage, you will be able to remediate the soil through leaching. 

Be sure your next project complies with all the applicable regulations.

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This field definitely needs some expert hands and skill. So, have you decided on what type of project you need? Make sure you research on this for a while before coming up with a decision.

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Contact us to get started on your next project, Call us: 562-438-7999.