Removal of Contamination from Soil

Removal of Contamination from Soil

Many of us are very conscious about the environment and how we treat it, most especially when it comes to our lawns and removal of contamination from soil. This article will be helpful if you want to know about the ways for the removal of contamination from soil.

Removal of Heavy Metal Contaminations

It is inevitable to remove heavy metal contaminants from soil because it happens in nature. In fact, heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium end up in the soil because they are present in water runoff. One method of removing heavy metals from soil is by using a method called pottery sand or fine fraction clay in conjunction with other methods of controlling contamination to the soil.

Pottery Sand and Fine Fraction Clay

Pottery Sand and Fine Fraction Clay rely on the principle of adsorption to remove heavy metal contamination from soil. Pottery sand relies on water adsorption, while fine fraction clay relies on physical attraction. The method you employ depends on whether you are dealing with water-based or oil-based stains. For example, if you have spilled oil on the lawn, you will need to use a liquid to absorb the oil.

Fine Fraction Dewatering Zone

For all other cases, you can simply use a fine fraction dewatering zone in conjunction with a standard soil moisture meter. The fine fraction dewatering zone is simply a thin film of water based on clay particles. In this case, there are no mineral ions because the clay particles are of fine size. The clay particles attract water based on their size, leaving the mineral ions in the first leaching zone.

Types of Fine Fraction Clay Formulations

There are two types of fine fraction clay formulations. One type of formulation contains 50 percent clay, while the other contains no clay. Clay formulas contain extremely low metal concentrations, making it ideal for soils with very poor water retention. The second type of formula contains extremely high clay concentrations, which allows the application of an effective soil water remover without causing soils to become too saturated with water.

Soil Monitoring

Soil monitoring is not a complex process when using metal detection as a monitoring technique. If your soil has a heavy metal concentration, one skilled operator should be able to perform the task without any additional equipment. This is especially true if the metal in question is trapped within the first grading process, as metals will often migrate to the grading trough during processing. One skilled operator should be able to determine which zone of the first leaching zone the metal is located in, and use a surface probe to determine if the metal can be easily removed from the soil.

Using an Operator to Determine Presence of Metal

If a soil probe cannot determine which zone of the leach zone metal is located in, other methods can be utilized. An operator can determine where a metal is located using radio wave energy, or a depth-charge washer. After a certain depth is reached where the penetration of the soil probe would be difficult, a trencher can be utilized to remove the metal from the soil.

Soil Penetration

Soil penetration can also be accomplished by hand, but one skilled operator should be able to determine whether the depth to which the soil probe can penetrate is sufficient to allow for proper removal of contaminants. Soil penetration is most efficient in early spring when most shallow soils are still moist. If you have a large amount of coarse gravel or sandy soils, however, hand penetration may not be enough to remove heavy metal contamination.

Metal is particularly adept at hiding in deeply buried, extremely fine-grained soils. Soil penetrating equipment is not necessary when dealing with coarse fractioned soils, as the depth to which the soil penetrates is not going to be significant enough to allow metal particles to be removed. Therefore, it is imperative that you have equipment capable of effectively penetrating extremely coarse and very fine soils.

Other Methods for Removal of Contamination from Soil

The use of hydro-electric power or ultra-high pressure air removal methods should be avoided if possible because these methods will always result in an increase in the concentration of airborne particulates in the soil sample. Air-dispersal chambers are useful in removing contaminated soil particles. They operate by using pressurized air to displace particles in the soil sample to an outside chamber, which then disposes of them naturally or mechanically. This method is highly effective in removing heavy metal contamination from soils. These chambers can be powered by electricity, or by high-pressure air.

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