The environment is changing, and we can see the consequences of global warming and the calamities it is bringing to the world every day. One factor in this issue is the damage oil does to the environment. Over time, oil has continued to be among the top pollutants worldwide. The effects of oil pollution on the water environment can be devastating because it forms a thin layer on the surface that keeps oxygen from reaching plants and animals. Sometimes these problems cost more to fix than the initial commercial value of an oil project. When things get out of control and oil spills occur, they can have substantial environmental impacts that damage an ecosystem for generations. If the oil spill seeps into the ground, the soil may be removed in an attempt to remove contaminants, which can lead to more soil erosion and another disturbance of the ecosystem, also. Eventually, this contaminated soil ends up in a landfill, where another mess is created.
It’s not just the effects of oil on wildlife; oil contamination can also affect irrigation and water treatment plants. Oil spills can make drinking water sources unsuitable, and fixing this issue may be very costly.
Vapors of oil can enter a building if oil is spilled near it, making it unfit for habitation. This may result in the building becoming unusable until expensive restoration work is completed, or in extreme cases, the facility may have to be demolished. This can be very devastating for the people who live there or work in the building.
Having highlighted the adverse effects of oil on the environment, a solution to this problem is oil remediation. In general, remediation is the process of cleaning up or correcting a phenomenon that caused significant environmental damage.
Oil remediation can be done with Mother Nature’s help to make it as natural a process as possible with more positive outcomes. Using bioremediation, oil companies can reduce the environmental impact of spills and keep contaminants out of landfills.
In comparison to other techniques, what is the environmental impact of oil remediation? New bioremediation techniques allow companies to use plant-derived agents in their oil cleanup that can create more positive environmental impacts than other types of remediation. In the event of an oil spill, these agents can be applied before the spill has a chance to seep too deeply into the ground, damaging local aquifers. Rather than excavating, the agent is applied on top of the soil and allowed to soak in for at least 30 minutes. The non-toxic substance will work to break down the complex hydrocarbons in oil so that the remaining compounds are easily digested by resident bacteria on-site. In this manner, it can help to speed up the oil degradation and give a boost to bacteria by making it easy for them to process it naturally without disturbing the surrounding ecosystem.
Benefits of Bioremediation
If you choose to use bioremediation versus other types of remediation techniques, you will find that bioremediation has definite benefits. The benefits range from environmental to cost savings. Here are a few advantages that come with bioremediation:
- Safe, Non-Toxic, Substance – Using a natural plant-based agent to help speed up cleanup, you don’t risk adding more harmful chemicals to the soil. Additionally, plant-based bioremediation agents can be easily handled and transported. In addition, you are not dealing with hazardous cleaning agents.
- Work with Nature, Not Against – Since you are considering the natural bacteria to help you remediate the soil, you are working in conjunction with nature, not against it. The bioremediation process contributes to the site’s natural environment without disturbing it as much as excavation or dredging. The byproducts are not toxic; contaminants are eliminated from the ground, not just moved elsewhere.
- Less Toxic Waste – Soils excavated and removed end up in landfills. Contaminants are not eliminated and can seep into groundwater if the dump is not lined correctly or protected.
- Cost Savings – By treating a spill the moment it happens, you can eliminate the potential for more significant environmental damage down the road. This can add up to cost savings and time spent managing oil spillage. While no oil spill will help you save money, using the proper techniques at the appropriate time can save you by helping you meet environmental guidelines as quickly as possible with the least hassle.
Remediation is an innovative and friendly approach that benefits the environment. Whether you choose to remove an oil tank from your property or go with an alternate method of remediation, ensure that the service provider you work with is competent and can deliver optimally.