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What Is Bioremediation?

What Does Bioremediation Technology Entail?

Bioremediation is the method of cleaning up groundwater, soil, and subsurface contaminations using biological organisms. Bioremediation specialists treat pollutants, such as oil, pesticides, solvents and various petroleum products, through mimicking and stimulating nature’s biodegradation processes.

In nature, microbes such as yeast, bacteria and fungi feed on contaminants and release water, CO2, ethene and other harmless gases as byproducts. Bioremediation specialists employ this organic occurrence to reduce or eliminate pollutants from different mediums in the following ways:    

  • Bioaugmentation is the method of supplementing the appropriate variety of microbes indigenous to the groundwater and soil. For the microbes to thrive and eat pollutants most effectively, certain conditions are required, such as a suitable temperature, oxygen and the addition of nutrients and amendments, e.g., vegetable oil or molasses. The treatment may be performed in situ, meaning in place, or, if conditions are not ideal, ex situ, meaning above ground. Ex situtreatment is achieved through the pumping polluted groundwater or excavation impacted soil. Once removed from the subsurface treatment would occur. Read here to learn more on the topic.
  • If there is little or no biological activity at a site, exogenous microbes can be introduced and enhanced to degrade the contamination.
  • Some microbes require oxygen in the environment to function, while others bioremediate in an anaerobic, or oxygen-free, environment.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Bioremediation uses microbes that naturally occur in groundwater and soil, harmlessly stimulating chemicals, nutrients and amendments, causing no damage to onsite personnel or the surrounding community. Samples from the treatment site are frequently tested by bioremediation specialists to maintain balance and monitor progress. After treatment, the microbes die off and leave minimal byproducts such as water and gases. In comparison with several other methods, onsite bioremediation offers a cheaper and less disruptive way to clean up a site.       

What Is the Treatment Length?

The duration for remediation is site specific. It can range from a few months to a few years, depending on the size of the contaminated site, the favorability of the host and surrounding environments, contaminant concentration, in situ or ex situ methods, and cleanup after ex situ treatment.

Why Choose EEC?

Selecting an appropriate remedial approach and action plan is crucial to clean up a site and meet regulatory closure requirements. EEC Environmental employs a combination of the latest remedial technologies and other time-tested methods. If you are looking for a bioremediation solution for soil and groundwater, contact an EEC expert today.

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