While there are some fundamental commonalities in the earth’s soil, like the existence of clay or sand in parts of it, groundwater systems around the world are incredibly diverse. Accordingly, remediation treatments available are just as different as the groundwater systems that exist.
Region and location play a massive role on the pervasiveness of certain physical, chemical, and biological contaminants that you need to consider to best treat them. For this reason, your means of tackling the problem have to be strategic.
Your treatment goals will assist you in identifying the correct tools and materials to meet your needs, and taking a strategic approach will result in reaching a higher quality of remediation results, much more quickly.
If your establishment needs to find an efficient and long-term solution for groundwater pollution, here is the ultimate guide on sustainable groundwater remediation.
What is Groundwater?
Groundwater is the water that exists below the ground surface that saturates the pore space in the subsurface.
What is groundwater remediation?
Groundwater remediation is defined as “the process that is used to treat polluted groundwater by removing the pollutants or converting them into harmless products.”
Why sustainable groundwater remediation
Fundamental to a wide range of industries, from drinking water extraction to mining, groundwater remediation is hugely important.
For example, globally, between 25 percent and 40 percent of the world’s drinking water is drawn from boreholes and dug wells, all of which need to be remediated. Farmers also use groundwater to irrigate crops, and industries use it to produce everyday household goods.
While groundwater itself should generally be clean, it often becomes polluted or contaminated as a result of human activities, or occasionally as a result of natural conditions such as the natural arsenic content in rocks, and animal waste that has seeped into the soil beyond the surface water.
Groundwater is so essential to everyone that it is every person’s and every establishment’s responsibility to protect and preserve it.
Guide to Groundwater Remediation
1. Physical Remediation
With the need to remove the most abundant particles and obstructions that plague the water that needs to be treated, the process of water purification starts on a physical level.
One option is air sparging which involves utilizing pressurized air to strip the water clean. Another more common method is pumping the water directly with filters to strip away large gravel or rock materials, and then letting the water be filtered biologically or chemically to ensure that it’s in the best condition.
2. Biological Remediation
Biological remediation utilizes microorganisms to assist with bioventing, bioaugmentation, and biosparging. In this method, the biological materials break down unwanted chemicals that won’t otherwise easily separate from the water, especially in industrial waste that tends to form in groundwater.
One of the benefits of this method is that physically pumping the groundwater out is no longer necessary to treat it.
3. Chemical Remediation
As the priciest method of water purification, chemical remediation can also potentially take the most extended amount of time to finish. It can be obtained through a variety of techniques, including carbon absorption, oxidation, ion exchange, and chemical precipitation.
Typically, chemical soil remediation agents such as sodium permanganate are combined with physical water treatment to achieve the most exceptional results, and this pairing can help attain the cleanest groundwater after the treatment process has been done.
4. Ozone and UV Light
Another more recognizable method of remediation involves using either ultraviolet or ozone light. Each of these light forms purifies the water differently, but both are able to kill undesirable microorganisms.
After exposure to ozone or UV light, unwanted organisms can easily be filtered out, and the remaining water is much purer and healthier than when it was in its previous state. These types of remediation methods serve as proof of how contaminated water treatment is much more than merely pressurizing water through a filter — albeit that is definitely a big part of it.
Microorganisms are among the more tedious elements to treat in a clean, sustainable way. However, the use of ultraviolet or ozone light enables you to bypass the need to use harsh chemicals in your treatment system and, instead, adopt a more natural route.
As groundwater remediation is so pertinent to a broad spectrum of industries, the more thorough you are able to understand it, the more feasible it is that you will discover the most appropriate and sustainable groundwater remediation method for your particular industry and goals. In most cases, a combination of multiple techniques and methods is required to ensure that you are treating all possible contaminants.
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- Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Groundwater Remediation - February 15, 2018