Do not look at the soil but what is inside it – soil contamination
In recent years, aggravation of various pollution phenomena has been observed, which is mainly reflected in an increase in the pollution of contaminated soils in the country, and, paradoxically, in parallel with an increase in awareness of active protection of the environment. In recent years, thousands of sites with contaminated soil and water have been located in Israel by a variety of sources, in addition to the large-scale pollution of land and water in the country that originates from fuels. The consequences of this growing phenomenon are extensive and destructive, which has led to a reassessment of companies working to eradicate the phenomenon. This article will deal with an overview of the dimensions of the land pollution problem and its consequences, the activities of the companies in the field that have set themselves the ultimate goal of eradicating the phenomenon, and the estimated forecast for the future.
What is contaminated soil?
The soil consists of a large accumulation of particles of various sizes. It has many cavities that may contain liquids or air. A soil where the cavities are filled with water is called an aquifer, while a soil where the cavities are filled with air and water is called an “unsaturated medium”. The water in this medium is called “soil solution”, and the air between the soil particles is called “soil gas”. The surface area of soil particles is very large, and large amounts of pollutants may be attached to the surface area. The pollutants may be released into the environment under certain conditions, and may even move from the source of the pollution to other places through the soil solution or soil gases. Contaminated soil contains the soil particles and pollutants attached to them, the pollutants dissolved in the soil solution and the volatile pollutants in the soil gas.
Contaminated soils in Israel
In recent years, several hundred sites with proven contamination in soil and water have been located in Israel. The pollution has been caused over the years by methods that were used in the past for the disposal of solid and hazardous waste, for the disposal of industrial wastewater and for the storage and transportation of hazardous materials and fuels. The environmental and health consequences of soil and water pollution are extensive, the most prominent of which are: pollution of water sources, damage to vegetation, pollution of underground spaces by volatile compounds, respiration of polluted dust and ingestion of polluted soil by children. The problem of water source pollution due to soil pollution is exacerbated due to the water crisis and the lack of available water sources.
Land is considered a limited resource whose rate of regeneration is extremely slow. The soil may absorb pollutants on a fairly large scale, and so soil contamination is only discovered when large amounts of pollutants accumulate, years after the onset of contamination. This fact may explain the lack of attention of the authorities to soil pollution until recent years. In Israel, where the population density is high and there is no large amount of vacant land, it is of particular importance to treat and rehabilitate contaminated land. This is especially noticeable in the center of the country.
Biological treatment of contaminated soils
Isotope performs biological treatment of contaminated soil, from the level of excavation and transport of the land to authorized sites throughout the country to the level of soil treatment and burial.
What is biological rehabilitation?
Biological restoration is a process in which natural microorganisms recycle specific infections. After a series of chemical reactions, organic waste undergoes metabolism and becomes water, carbon gas and other non-toxic by-products.
These chemical reactions give bacteria the energy they need to develop and reproduce. Thanks to this process, the organic waste is eaten and disappears from the environment, without toxic residues or dangerous to man or nature. Once the infections are eliminated, the bacteria that have ceased to receive carbon energy, die naturally.
Isotope provides services in the field of purification and removal of contaminated soils.
Excavation and transportation of contaminated soils.
Landfill solutions and biological treatments.
Biological treatment of contaminated soil
Biological treatment of soil contaminated with hazardous materials. Transport of contaminated soil to the biological treatment site.
Absorption of contaminated soil
Isotope offers its customers removal services and the absorption of contaminated soil in the various end destinations in accordance with the procedures of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The field of waste disposal and hazardous materials in the Business Licensing Regulations stipulates that, land containing hazardous materials in a concentration exceeding a certain threshold value defined by law, must be disposed of in order to maintain public health. The IRBCA – Israel Risk Based Corrective Action, which is conducted with the aim of examining environmental risks arising from soil or groundwater pollution, also serves as a tool for determining target values, which define when soils need to be treated or evacuated from the site in question.
There are several ways to treat contaminated soils. One option is to remove contaminated soil from the site, transport it to designated waste sites, and absorb it by an authorized landfill site. There, this land is used to cover debris. Another option is a biological treatment process, which allows the land to be reused in a number of industries. It is important to note that it is strictly forbidden to bury contaminated soil at mixed or dry waste sites other than as a cover material, according to the landfill business license.