The ever-growing industrial and agricultural activities continue to push development around the world; however they often come at the cost of environmental degradation. Without careful planning, toxic spills and chemicals can damage the land surrounding your property or project. Soil salinization, water logging and soil erosion have extremely negative effects on the environment. This is where the importance of environmental remediation or bio-remediation comes in.
Arctic Backhoe Services Ltd is a Whitehorse excavation contractor and environmental services provider. We are licensed in Whitehorse and Yukon to efficiently deal with contaminated soil. We specialize in:
In this blog, our expert technicians mention the importance and methods of environmental remediation.
What is Bio-Remediation?
It is a branch of biotechnology that deals with the living organisms such as bacteria and microbes to remove pollutants, contaminants and toxins from soil and water. It is a cost-effective technique compared to other remediation methods and is a natural process that does not produce any toxic by-products.
Benefits of bio-remediation over other methods include:
- Minimal exposure of workers to the contaminants.
- Possible reduction in the duration of the remediation process.
- Destruction of contaminants rather than transferring them to another medium.
- Long-term protection of public health.
Categories of Bio-Remediation
Currently, there are three categories of bio remediation. They are:
Agricultural soils can get contaminated due to the heavy metals contained within agricultural products or pesticide use. Industrial soils can be polluted in various ways, such as the accumulation of heavy metals from industrial emissions and chemical spillages.
Bio-remediation can clean heavily polluted soil to convert it back to its natural state. Groundwater polluted with ammonia can be broken down into harmless nitrogen gas by a new technique.
The technique known as bio-stimulation can increase the natural degradation processes by boosting the growth of microbes that are already present. Regular bio remediation processes can be limited by several factors, including moisture content in the soil, nutrient availability or temperature. Bio-stimulation overcomes these by providing the resources to microbes that will increase their proliferation.
Cleaning oil-polluted soil is another area where bio-stimulation can be applied. Poultry droppings can be used as a bio stimulant agent, providing phosphorus and nitrogen to the system, boosting the natural growth of oil-degrading bacteria.
Air gets polluted by a range of volatile organic compounds created by industrial processes. While ‘bio-filtration’ is helping to clean industrial gases, chemical scrubbing is used for cleaning gases from chimneys. In bio-filtration, the polluted air passes over a replaceable culture medium that contains microorganisms to degrade contaminants such as salts, water and carbon dioxide.
Sewage treatment plants are among the most important bio-remediation enterprises. They separate the major compounds such as organic matter, suspended solids, phosphorous and nitrogen. The waste water entering the plant will be aerated to provide oxygen to bacteria which degrade pollutants and turn toxic ammonia to nitrogen gas.
Types of Bio-Remediation
1. In situ Bio-remediation
When degradation of waste is performed at the original site of contamination, it is in-situ bio-remediation. The process depends on various factors such as:
- Characteristics of the site
- Typology of contamination
- Identification of microbial community at the site
- Distribution and concentration of contaminants
- pH value of the site
- Nutrient supply
- Identification of Moisture content
2. Ex-situ Bioremediation
It is when the degradation of waste is done further away from the site of the contamination. Here, the contaminants are unearthed from the original site and then sent to a controlled environment for treating.
Let Arctic Backhoe Services Ltd Help
We have been a family-run and locally operated business since 1981, working with various clients including business owners, developers and homeowners. Experienced in all kinds of projects, we are a fully insured and licensed excavation company, providing our clients with the safest service possible.
For information on why you need to remove contaminated soil in Yukon, read our blog post – Why You Need to Remove Contaminated Soil in the Yukon.
Call us to learn more about our environmental remediation services.