Chemicals or other pollutants can contaminate water, land and other areas of the environment and make them unsafe for humans or other forms of life. When this happens, remediation services become necessary to restore the contaminated areas to a condition that no longer poses a threat to life or health. The particular type of remediation services needed depends on the nature and location of the problem.
When a tanker truck overturns and spills potentially hazardous material onto a highway, remediation services that specialize in handling chemical spills are called in to remove the toxic material from the roadway and to ensure that no residual traces remain on the surface or seep into the ground nearby. Similarly, when mold is found growing in the walls or ductwork of a home or commercial building, remediation services trained and equipped to deal with mold removal are utilized. Possibly the most familiar remediation services are those called in to remove asbestos from buildings.
Large numbers of people rely on groundwater for drinking. Some groundwater is still pristine, but other reservoirs have become polluted due to human activities on the surface of the land. Industrial or manufacturing wastes may be stored in leaky containers or allowed to drain directly onto open ground where they filter down to underground water supplies and render them unsafe for human or animal consumption. Biological, chemical or physical treatments or combinations of those treatments can remove contaminants from groundwater and make it safe to drink. As the water supply diminishes, groundwater remediation services that can purify polluted groundwater will become increasingly in demand.
Before people became aware of the dangers to man and environment from careless waste management, some factories and industrial plants disposed of their waste and unwanted by-products by dumping them onto the nearest vacant lot or into a nearby stream. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put a stop to many of these abuses, and land rendered useless by prior pollution can be restored by land remediation services. These companies reclaim land through such diverse methods as introducing pollutant-neutralizing bacteria into the area or simply digging up the contaminated soil and moving it to a safer location.
Another type of land contamination may be discovered when commercial or industrial property is sold or repurposed. The EPA’s brownfields regulation requires testing not only to discover the presence of toxic substances in surface soil itself, but also what might be buried in the ground beneath it. Underground fuel storage tanks or toxic dumps on the sites of old gas stations or industrial compounds require remediation services with the equipment and expertise to isolate and remove tanks or dumping areas without releasing more of their contents into the area. If further clean-up actions are necessary, the remediation service should be prepared to provide a comprehensive environmental cleanup.