Excavation Work and Environmental Safety Concerns
Excavation work can potentially lead to the spread of environmental contaminants. Perpetuum are experienced with land contamination testing and handling of contaminated soil.
Before commencing excavation, it is crucial to evaluate whether there is suspicion of land contamination in the area where the work is to be carried out. Excavating in contaminated soil can pose health and environmental risks to the surroundings. Consequently, stringent requirements are in place for the proper management of contaminated land.
If there are suspicions of soil contamination, you need to ensure that necessary investigations are conducted before initiating excavation work.
When to be Suspicions of Contaminated Land
The previous use of the land in question usually provides insight into the possibility of soil contamination. Are Lorentsen, CEO of Perpetuum, points to a few examples:
“Many sites where construction is taking place today have had prior activities related to industrial activitites, waste management, gas stations, tank facilies, auto repair shops, landfills, horticulturals or previous fire incidents or fire drills. These circumstances may indicate the potential presence of contaminated soil.”, the CEO explains.
In urban areas, soil sampling should always be considered, while when excavating in pristine soil, it is usually unnecessary, according to Lorentsen.
How to Investigate Soil Contamination?
Perpetuum has the expertise required for soil contamination assessments and offers soil sampling services.
«We collect samples that are sent for analysis. Based on the analysis, we can provide an estimate for the management of any contaminated materials,» says Lorentsen.
Dealing with Confirmed Land Contamination
If the analysis and assessment confirms contamination, a remediation plan for addressing land contamination on the property must be developed. This plan usually has to be approved by the local authorities before excavation work can commence.
Contaminated materials should be transported to an authorized disposal facility if they cannot be reused within the remediation area.
«In most cases, soil contamination exists as dissolved chemical substances or compounds. The process of extracting them can be complex and costly, and it may not always be feasible,» explains Lorentsen.
The approach for dealing with soil contamination varies depending on the type and quantity of contamination. Perpetuum accepts, treats, and disposes of a wide range of contaminated materials. The materials can sometimes remain on-site, while in other instances, they can be placed in a standard landfill or specialized containment cells. Occasionally, the materials may be contaminated with hazardous waste to an extent that requires alternative solutions at specialized facilities.
«Regardless of the nature of the contamination, we find a solution that best suits our clients,» says Lorentsen.
In need of a partner for assessment or handling of contaminated soil?
Perpetuum can assist you with assessments, surveys and analysis, as well as handling and remediating any potential contamination. Our extensive experience and expertise makes us able to identify the best solutions for your projects.