Environmental remediation and containment is a difficult job even in the best of conditions. In the effort to keep contaminants from polluting the environment, there are a variety of challenges to overcome. Different situations have different cleanup needs. The geology of the site in particular is a factor that can require flexibility as groundwater conditions change. Contaminants can produce hazardous byproducts as they degrade or during the treatment process. And of course, the time frame in which remediation and containment needs to be done also presents its own set of problems.
You can learn more about some of these challenges in the discussion below, and you’ll also see how Allsite offers solutions to help meet these needs.
Environmental Remediation Challenges
One of the biggest challenges in environmental remediation is keeping contaminants out of the air, groundwater and surrounding soil. This is an issue that affects a variety of sectors, and it’s a concern in many different situations. Some examples include:
- The mining industry, in which it is crucial to contain contaminated soil particulates, volatile organic compounds, and other potential pollutants.
- Natural disasters, like floods or fires, which may create large amounts of potentially hazardous debris. Cleanup and removal takes time, which means that containment may be necessary as people work to remove debris.
- The construction industry faces cleanup and remediation challenges when demolishing structures. Containment is essential to confine particulates like asbestos, lead and other harmful substances.
- Chemical spills and other such accidents are known to happen despite the best of precautions. Here again, containment is important to keep air, groundwater and soil as clean as possible.
Geology of Cleanup Site
Geology is another challenge, one that makes timeframes crucial. In areas where bedrock is fractured, water running through the bedrock can be difficult to trace, which means that remediation strategies often must be flexible so that these strategies can evolve as new geologic information about the site emerges.
This is particularly true of karst geology, typically limestone, gypsum or dolomite, which is notorious for containing small to large voids. Groundwater flow can be unpredictable here—and again, the challenge becomes one of designing remediation and containment strategies flexible enough to handle ongoing changes within the site itself.
Geology and geography can add special difficulties and require special handling. Wet or saturated soils, hillsides, frozen ground or other difficult terrains require buildings and equipment designed to handle difficult situations.
Containing Toxic Materials at the Site
Where containment is concerned, contaminants themselves can pose a problem. Such is the case with recalcitrant contaminants, which can include things like metals, radionuclides, dioxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and other types of chemicals. Containment for recalcitrant contaminants often requires long-term waste management strategies, not only to keep these substances out of the environment in the short term, but also to manage the hazardous byproducts that these substances produce as they degrade over time, or as treatment measures are applied.
With all of this, speed is another factor. The longer pollutants are left to contaminate the environment, the harder remediation becomes. This is where the size and complexity of the site plays a major role in containment strategies. These situations always require a remediation approach that is rolled out in stages as containment measures are adjusted to complete the decontamination.
Manufactured Gas Plant (MPG) and Oil Drilling Cleanup
MPG sites exist throughout the US as they were the major source of power generation from the early 1800’s through the mid twentieth century through the burning of coal and oil. The challenge is to remove residues such as tar, sludge and other hydrocarbon products. Many are located in what are now urban areas, with access and containment of cleanup being major challenges, requiring reliable isolation of the cleanup site during the project.
Water Management Projects
The growth of population centers has greatly increased demand on the water supply while at the same time industrial and agricultural activity has expanded and caused issues with water quality. Many communities are taking action to clean up and protect their water sources. This includes adding water filtration plants to purify the water before it is supplied to local homes and businesses.
Allsite Tension Fabric Structures to Address Remediation Challenges
With speed and flexibility being two of the largest hurdles to overcome, temporary containment shelters become invaluable tools in remediation projects. Sturdy, heavy duty tension fabric structures are easy to install in almost any location, and their flexibility makes them suitable for just about every situation or containment need. Remediation and containment structures can serve as a covering over large scale excavations to keep contaminated soil particulates contained, or they can serve as a temporary isolation and containment facility during the debris removal process.
One of the biggest advantages to tension fabric remediation structures is that they can be quickly installed and easily relocated around the work site. Because they are modular and easy to assemble, these buildings can be ready for use within a few weeks of order placement. The PVC fabric is chemical, wind, precipitation and UV-resistant, which makes tension fabric structures suitable for long term use, and for use in extreme climates and degraded environmental conditions. The extruded aluminum frame is high-strength and stable on any terrain, and it is rust and corrosion resistant. These structures are available in a number of widths and custom lengths, and don’t require interior supports resulting in a clear span interior for maximum flexibility. That means plenty of open space inside the structure making it easy for workers to maneuver heavy equipment if needed.
If you’re looking for a containment and remediation structure for a challenging cleanup project site, Allsite has a temporary structure solution that will help. To learn more about Allsite’s tension fabric structures, contact us at 888-599-5112.