5 Soil Remediation and Treatment Methods

Environmental Protect Agency and related agencies have over 20-year experience managing the environmental reclamation and soil remediation activities at mine and industrial sites. Since this time they have developed, tested and deployed multiple cleanup technologies that have proven successful in the cleaning up of polluted mine and processing sites.

As cleanups continue at different mine sites, the Environmental Protect Agency and environmental engineers are continuing to develop additional technologies that are more efficient and effective at cleaning up hazardous locations.

It is important the environmental engineer and the environmental cleanup company have a deep understanding of the technique and type of environmental remediation being used. Some methods are effective at a small scale but will fail when implemented over a large area. While other methods are not effective at all for the type of pollution being cleaned up.

Top Soil Remediation Techniques and Treatment Methods

Soil Remediation

The conventional technologies have been used the longest by environmental engineers and environmental cleanup contractors to perform remediation at mine sites. These technologies have been used on a small scale and wide-scale reclamation projects to treat soil pollution across the United States.

Chemical Treatment

This method aims at the addition of chemicals or solvents into the polluted soils so as to stabilize the pollutants and convert them into less toxic forms that are harmless to the water bodies, plants, and human beings. Since complete soil remediation is difficult to achieve with biological methods alone hence, the amalgamation of both biological and chemical methods has gained much attention of the scientists.

Besides that, the harmful effects of the use of chemical methods should also be considered before implementing on a pilot-scale. The materials generally used for chemical treatments are metallic oxides, clays or biomaterials. Remediation efficiency of these materials depends upon the soil texture, organic matter present in the soil, type of metal contaminant etc.

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With this type of treatment, remedial systems are developed that introduce reagents into the soil or groundwater and modify the organic and inorganic contaminants and convert the pollution into environmentally less damaging forms. One of the most common and widely accepted forms of chemical treatment at mine sites is the use of lime to neutralize acid rock drainage.


Stabilization is changing the contaminants to a less mobile or soluble form thereby making it less hazardous to the environment. For example, stabilization could be used to treat soil pollution found in a sludge slurry by changing the pH of the sludge to make it less mobile.

Another form often used for stabilization is the capping of soil pollution. In this case, a clean cap of soil is placed over the polluted soil to protect it from running into streams and rivers. This method of soil remediation is a phase change of matter that results in the production of a solid.

Generally, this occurs when the temperature of a liquid is lowered below its freezing point. Although the freezing point and melting point of most materials are the same temperature, this is not the case for all substances, so freezing point and melting point are not necessarily interchangeable terms.

Stabilization is attempted to reduce the solubility or chemical reactivity of the waste by changing the physical and chemical properties. While solidification attempt to convert the waste into easily handled solids with low hazardous level.


This is typically a process that involves mixing of waste with binders to reduce the volume of contaminant leachability by means of physical and chemical characteristics to convert the waste in the environment that goes to landfill or others possibly channels.

Solidification is nearly always an exothermic process, meaning heat is released when a liquid changes into a solid. The only known exception to this rule is the solidification of low-temperature helium. Energy (heat) must be added to helium-3 and helium-4 for freezing to take place.

This process involves making the pollution solid, such as capping or mixing the pollution into a concrete block. The contaminant migration is restricted vastly by decreasing the surface area exposed to leaching or runoff from rain and stormwater.

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Decontamination of Buildings

This is the process of cleansing an object or substance to remove contaminants such as micro-organisms or hazardous materials, including chemicals, radioactive substances, and infectious diseases.

Often when a mine site has finished operations, historical preservation is requested of the buildings. When this occurs, the structures themselves will need to be decontaminated. Decontamination could be as simple as washing the building or as complicated as removing asbestos from the interior walls and ceilings.

Landfill Disposal

Landfill disposal of soil pollution is one of the most common methods of disposal and is an example of encapsulation site remediation. Landfills are designed to accept waste for permanent disposal. Landfills used for site remediation and polluted soil are often designed to be lined to protect against leachate and have specially designed caps to project against stormwater and erosion.

Using a landfill for disposal of mine waste can be significant as the site must be maintained and protected for as long as there is an environmental risk. Landfill mining and reclamation is a process which excavates and processes solid wastes which have previously been landfilled.

The process aims to reduce the amount of landfill mass encapsulated within the closed landfill and/or temporarily remove hazardous material to allow protective measures to be taken before the landfill mass is replaced. In the process, mining recovers valuable recyclable materials, a combustible fraction, soil, and landfill space.

Soil Remediation Companies

According to Manta, there are over 3,300 soil remediation companies located in the United States. One of the main reasons for there being so many companies is site remediation requires a significant amount of local knowledge.

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The environmental engineer must have an in-depth understanding of the local environmental reclamation requirements, a history of the site, and relationships with federal and local contractors. With this in mind, it is usually better to work with a small environmental engineering business rather than a large national or multinational firm.

You can visit Brandon Anderson website for your site remediation and environmental reclamation service. He is an environmental project manager who is passionate about environmental engineering. As an environmental engineer, he works with his clients from assessment to site closure to ensure that land is fully reclaimed for future usage or long-term management.

Brandon Anderson has a team that provides multiple options to restore your site and seek to keep you informed throughout the entire process. The team understand that environmental reclamation has the potential to be a time-consuming, expensive process. That is why they are proud to offer premier technologies and results-oriented strategies to deliver to you a comprehensive plan of action for your environmental remediation project.

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About the author

I am Adegboyega Tunde Temitayo. A registered Town Planner with the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) and Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC).

I love to think differently and possibly on various Urban and Regional Planning issues to proffer solutions to Urban and Rural Environmental Problems. You can subscribe to my YouTube Channel

As the Chief Editor of Town Planners Diary, I humbly welcome you to this platform which is about enhancing Planning Education through research on various Town Planning and Environmental issues.

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