Land management and the methods of remediation

When land has been contaminated, remediation is necessary. Remediation is the process of land management that involves practices to control, contain, reduce or remove the contamination and environmental risks. The aim of remediation is to ensure the land no longer poses a threat to either the environment or to health so the land can be restored to use.

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Landfill

Traditionally, in the UK, land remediation approaches focused on removing contaminated soil and depositing it in landfill. However, recently this has been criticised as not being a solution, but rather just transferring the issue from one area to another, and since the introduction of landfill tax in 1996, this option has become less viable. The landfill tax is an environmental tax which is paid on top of normal landfill rates for disposing of waste in landfill and rates vary according to materials.

On-site treatments

Recently, the focus in remediation has been on developing remedial processes on-site. The first stage of any remedial process is to identify and delineate the exact area and volume of contaminated ground. Once this has been achieved there are three stages involved which are: the implementation of the on-site remediation process, verifying the results of the remediation and lastly, the aftercare of the site.

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Remediation methods.

Companies such as https://soilfix.co.uk/services/soil-groundwater-remediation, are able to offer a soil remediation service on contaminated land. There are a number of remediation methods in use, depending on the specific requirements of the site, including the following methods:

Capping

This process controls both lateral and vertical migration of contaminants and is commonly used on landfill sites and other lands where the main concern is the environmental impact of the entry of water to the site.

Impermeable vertical barriers

These are used essentially to block the pathway vertically for contaminants, thus preventing the transference of the contaminant to outside the area.

Total encapsulation

The process of total encapsulation involves the combination of several measures together to completely encapsulate the contaminated area, forming a seal above, below and to each side. The technique of total encapsulation has been used widely to confine soils with high heavy metal concentrations.

Bioremediation

This is the process of using microorganisms under the correct conditions in order to break down environmental contaminants to clear the site of pollutants, providing less toxic or more stable materials.

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