What do you do with oil-contaminated soil?

how to dispose of oil-contaminated soil
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Soil is a combination of water, minerals, and other organic lifeforms.

It is essential for our planet’s ecosystem because it functions as a source of nutrients for the growth of plants and animals as well as providing us with an abundance of resources such as food, fuel, energy and water.

Unfortunately, as oil is one of the most widely transported fuels, there is always a chance that oil spills can occur, which can pollute soil.

What needs to be done with soil that has been contaminated with oil?

When soil has become contaminated with oil, it is understandable to worry about what your next steps should be.

However, it is important to know how to deal with oil-contaminated soil because if it isn’t treated, the spilled oil might nearby streams, rivers and lakes.

Oil can be a problematic liquid to handle, and for that reason it’s never advisable to tackle an oil spill on your own – more so if you don’t have any experience doing so or if you don’t have appropriate equipment.

When soil has been contaminated with oil, it is classified as a health hazard. As a result, you should ask for help from experts who specialise in the treatment and remediation of hazardous waste.

First, the site needs to be properly assessed to understand the extent of the damage before a solution is devised. This examination includes identifying problem areas or potential hazards. The best remediation strategy is then suggested, and steps outlined that must be taken next.

Professional teams trained in how to handle contaminated soil disposal, removal and remediation are best for the job. They should be able to extract affected soil from your location ready for the testing and later disposal.

How is soil affected by an oil contamination?

Soil that has been contaminated by oil has an array of negative effects which can lead to an even more disastrous outcome down the line.

Because oil cannot mix with water, when it spills on land surfaces it soaks into soil while blocking water from entering.

Not only that, oil is a complicated and damaging substance to clean up when it makes its way into the environment. Although it is more common to see oil spills occur at sea, those that take place on land are equally hazardous.

Oil that is spilled onto soil can be detrimental for plants, especially on agricultural land because it takes away some of their most basic essentials. For example, oil can contaminate nearby sources of water. Even a small quantity can pollute a large volume of water, so it is important the issue is flagged immediately.

Spilled oil can also affect animal health because it can stick to their bodies. Sea birds have been poisoned, while an animal’s coat can also be affected – meaning that they can’t keep warm or protect themselves.

Some people think oil spills should be left in the soil in the mistaken belief the liquid will go away on its own. However, it has been proven that oil doesn’t decompose for decades, meaning that addressing the situation is imperative sooner rather than later.

Even if an oil spill isn’t posing any imminent threat to the environment or human health, it will still require remediation. Land that is contaminated by oil can thwart site development and new buildings being made securely and without hassle.

If soil is found to be contaminated in the middle of a building project, it can have severe financial ramifications for those who authorised the operation. In addition, oil can negatively impact water treatment plants and hinder their equipment.

Contaminated soil clean-ups by DHI Excavations

Because oil spills carry so much risk, it is best to call on the skill of a team like the one at DHI Excavations.

We have accumulated years of experience dealing with oil-contaminated soil, and always strive to prioritise protecting the environment while conducting remediation.

By addressing the problem early, we can treat contaminated soil before it goes to waste in landfill. As a result, it can be reused as valuable cover material free from pollutants.

Not only do our professional methods treat soil contaminated with anything from elevated hydrocarbons to asbestos, our hazardous management team also provides a full waste management service which includes soil disposal for hazardous materials under EWC codes.

Using our broad knowledge base, we can also answer questions you have regarding how to clean soil contaminated with oil before devising an appropriate solution.

Our land remediation service is informed by a desire to protect the environmental and minimise costs for our clients.

We study carefully your site and adhere to sustainable best practices while mitigating risks to the surrounding area and helping you get back to work as quickly as possible.

Why not contact the team today and find out how we can help?

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