APPLIED ENVIRONMETNAL SCIENCES
By coordinating with other groups and providers in the field, a collaborated effort was made to to develop tools to assist in remediation oriented tasks. Those developments have enabled a faster response time, allow those in the field to learn more about the sites unique characteristics, thus enabling remediation to begin that much sooner. Knowledge and awareness of potential environmental receptors is vital to know as quickly as possible, as well as being able to adapt and modify any remediation methods based on new data and findings coming in from the field.
The development of the Hybrid Geoprobe was conceived as the ideal response tool for soil characterization, spill delineation, and the installation of effective control systems, an all-in-one tool.
The need to delineate the impacted areas accurately and effectively, to sample immediately within a wide range of environment condition and geographic situations, combined with the ability to install wide variety of control systems was the goal. Combining these functions into a hybrid Geoprobe platform that would easily adapt to several equipment platforms widely used with the industry with a quick connect ultimately was the solution.
Being able to sample and test hard to reach areas, as frequently as needed to best monitor the overall environmental health is instrumental during both the response and reclamation phases. Enhancing the available equipment flexibility has allowed the opportunity to test in the field and observe results in real time.
The goal of introducing an artificial electric field was to control the movement of ionic compounds that were dissolved in ground waters on contamination sites. Spills that contain high concentrations of Sodium are particularly disruptive to soil structures by causing soil compaction and reducing the permeability and flow of water through the soil. This effects not only any naturalized plants or agricultural crops growing in the area at the time of a spill, but also devastates the microbial community that is essential for soil health.
The use of a low electric current on spill sites acts as an attracting force to draw the salts into a more defined area. The condensed salt solution can then be pump out, leaving the cathode/anode system to begin the process again. Depending on the severity and size of the spill, this system can be scaled up or down to best fit the remediation plans.
Most industrial clean-up sites rely heavily on fossil fuel powered equipment and technology platforms. While these surely work in their purpose to power various tools and assist in the physical clean-up process, there are definite concerns to take into consideration with their ubiquitous use on clean-up sites specifically. There is always a risk of additional contamination from fuel related leaks and spills. Relying on diesel powered generators costs more over time, is incredibly noisy landowners and a deterrent for local wildlife. Fortunately, progress within the alternative energy sector in recent years has made the installation and maintenance of technology, specifically solar panels, a viable and comparable option.