Following is a step by step graph highlighting the procedure required to classify soil waste and to determine its proper disposal location. For further information, please refer to our previous posts regarding Soil Contamination and Disposal or, if you require any assistance with waste soil treatment, please do not hesitate to give us a call – 0131 538 8456 or email – email@example.com
A Remediation Strategy can only be designed once sufficient information has been obtained; e.g., without enough pieces of the jigsaw you’ll only be guessing at what the picture might be…!
So, to avoid wild guesses and wasting lots of time and money you do need to do your homework.
Firstly, a detailed Phase 1 (Desktop Study) and Phase 2 (Intrusive Site Investigation) must be completed with adequate information to inform the strategy decision making process. One of the failings of a lot of consultants is that they ‘talk a good game’ but are not fully up to speed with remediation techniques and when undertaking a Phase 2 do not collect additional pertinent information. This leads to uncertainty and hence increased remediation risk profile, and where there is increased risk this can only mean one thing – more cost…!
As an example, we have yet to come across a consultant who obtains a microbial count when it is blinding obvious from the outset that bioremediation will be a major remedial option consideration.
Secondly, there are many other factors to take in to account, such as; timescale for completion, available space, climatic conditions, regulatory concerns, local receptors (you don’t want to be injecting chemicals right next to a sensitive receptor…do you…!), site end use, financial constraints, etc.
Thirdly, you really need to have a lot of experience in remediation implementation. By this I do not mean having a lot of Environmental Consultancy experience, but practical hands on, ‘getting your boot dirty’ remediation experience. Without this you’ll probably spec a pump not man/woman enough for the job in hand, end up with a machine to big to fit on to the site or book too many lorries and end up with standing time charges.
So, to answer the question at the beginning of this post the only real answer is to speak to a specialist who knows what they are talking about paying them for their time and effort, as you would for your accountant, solicitor or landlord…!
We’re always happy to provide a little bit of free advice at the beginning of your journey cleaning up your site so why not go ‘old school’ and give us a call. Or if you prefer drop us an email or launch your pet carrier pigeon in our direction…free bird food for every enquiry received this way…!
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How do you deal with soil contaminated with asbestos?
With the recent release of HSE’s ACOP on Managing and Working with Asbestos (click here for the pdf version) I realised that it was time to discuss the implications of asbestos in soil on this blog.
Asbestos in soil poses a potentially huge health risk, especially when working in and around those soils. If you’ve heard of asbestos as a health risk then you’ll know that the inhalation of 1 fibre can be fatal, there is also very little guidance for the handling and haulage of soils contaminated with asbestos which could mean that high risk works are being carried out unknowingly. That is however set to change once CL:AIRE’s Joint Industry Working Group produces their report which is due early 2014.
Asbestos soil contamination comes in 2 forms, Bound asbestos, and Fibrous asbestos. Bound asbestos is typically low risk as the fibres are part of a larger block and therefore can’t be inhaled, these materials are also know as Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs) and include asbestos roofing boards and asbestos cement. Fibrous asbestos is the high risk form, it does what is says on the tin, loose fibres are lying around and if disturbed could be inhaled. Although there is often a sense of relief when only ACMs are recorded on site, I would be genuinely surprised if weathering and damage to ACMs isn’t producing fibrous asbestos in small amounts across the site, so caution is encouraged.
Management of Asbestos Contaminated Soils
- The best way to manage asbestos contaminated soil is to leave it undisturbed.
- If you have to move it, then keep the soil damp so that any fibres do not become airbourne, ensure site workers are wearing appropriate PPE, and have a decontamination unit for all staff working in the area. Dust and fibre monitoring should also be carried out.
- Handpicking of ACMs from soil is a good solution to significantly minimise waste volumes.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us, we like to talk, please e-mail or phone (0131 538 8456).