There has recently been much web traffic about the role of the Smart Phone in disaster recovery and we wondered whether there was any application for this technology when remediating a site.
Remediation, which is the removal of pollution or contaminants from soil, groundwater, sediment or surface water in wells, sumps or trenches requires specialist equipment and can involve many different techniques including classical, biological, physical or chemical methods but remediation techniques can be categorised into off-site and onsite methods.
Off-site methods involve the excavation of affected soils and subsequent treatment at the surface whereas onsite methods seek to treat the contamination without removing the soils.
Onsite physical techniques to remediate a site can include airsparging, soil vapour extraction, solvent flushing and electro reclamation; biological consists of natural attenuation, bio sparging, bio venting Oxygen and hydrogen release compound, anaerobic reductive dechlorination or bio augmentation.
For contaminated water an oleophilic or hydrophobic element which passes oil but repels water is often used. A passive system absorbs or containerises the pollution in the equipment, within the well. An active system uses a pumping facility to bring the contaminant to the surface.
The process of remediation is strictly monitored and regulated for human, ecological, agricultural and spreading to the groundwater risks. At Van Walt we have a range of onsite remediation equipment to ‘pump and treat’. Much of this is available to either rent or buy.
So could a Smart Phone help in these circumstances? Well smartphone technology helps people cope in emergency situations with calls, texts, emails and social network communications and with the growing number of ‘Apps’ available there are many more increased applications for the smartphone, not least the ability to take photographs and video which can be emailed directly to an office site for evaluation.
Apps that have a flashlight light, a strobe and S.O.S abilities, apps to tune in a radio with 40,000 stations, fire and police scanner apps, and weather apps, satellite navigation and apps to determine tide tables, smartphones are changing the way we respond to emergencies and in the method or equipment we might choose for a remediation project.
In the future a smartphone will become a replacement for cash; you will use it like a debit card, so at the very least you will be able to order you equipment via your smartphone and access information that may be able to help in analysing a remediation situation. Watch this space for new Van Walt applications.