How to Transform Contaminated Soil into Safe and Usable Real Estate

How to Transform Contaminated Soil into Safe and Usable Real Estate

Land that is full of previously contaminated soil can deter many builders and contractors from approaching, but there are many ways to recover damaged land and still make it useful in society.

Taking contaminated land and turning it into a plot for safe and usable real estate takes many steps and lots of time, but the end result will be profitable and satisfactory. Read below to discover how to turn contaminated soil into livable land. 

Evaluate the Extent of Contamination

The first thing a contractor must do when tasked with turning contaminated land into usable land is to do a thorough evaluation. This typically includes hiring scientists to take soil samples and mapping out how big the affected area is.

This process could take days or weeks depending on the size of the plot of land and how bad the contamination is. The evaluation could also become more complex if the land is diverse and has small bodies of water that are also contaminated. 

Once the evaluation is complete, it is time to make a game plan for how to tackle the contamination problem. This is when contractors and scientists work together to decide if the soil that is present can be cleansed or needs to be removed and replaced with new soil. The solution may be a combination of different techniques including trial and error to see what techniques will actually work to get rid of the contamination. 

Implement Remediation Techniques

There are quite a few remediation techniques that can be implemented to help make a plot of land hospitable for life again. The most common techniques are chemical stabilization, complete removal and replacement, and soil washing.

Chemical Stabilization

Chemical stabilization means that scientists will come in and pour some kind of chemical solution onto the soil that will act as a ‘cleaning’ agent to neutralize the contamination. One popular solution is to fill the affected area with potassium permanganate to treat any contaminated water and chemically cleanse the affected soil. This method is used by contractors in many different land remediation projects and has proven to be quite effective.   

Removal and Replacement

This is the most strenuous choice and involves the complete excavation of the contaminated soil where it can be brought to an appropriate disposal site for decontamination. The contractor will then have to create a budget for purchasing all new soil, which can get expensive depending on the size of the plot of land and how deep the contamination went.

Soil Washing

This is a tedious technique that requires workers to take the soil, section by section, to a treatment facility where it can be washed with water or other cleaning solutions and then brought back to the site. 

Rebuild From Ground Zero

After the entire area has been broken down, cleansed, and chemically treated with one or many of the remediation techniques, it is finally time to start planning how it can be used for real estate. This process may require surveyors and people from the local government to come and check the area out to make sure that it is suitable and safe enough for use again. If the land receives a passing grade, then construction can begin promptly.

Transforming contaminated soil from something that is untouchable to a safe place to build homes and communities is a big task, but with an ever-growing population, this is a step humans must take to use as much space as we can.


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