At a Glance
Physical removal and disposal
Treats all concentrations within
reach including NAPL
Relatively short treatment times
(days to weeks)
Unsaturated and saturated
One time application if all
contamination is removed
Excavation techniques used in soil and groundwater remediation projects are based on the mechanical process of physically removing contaminated soil and transporting it offsite. Excavation can be used effectively on any contaminant at any concentration (including NAPL) and is often used to accelerate groundwater remediation via physical removal of contaminated media that can continue to cause contamination.
Excavations are common at retail petroleum sites where underground storage tanks (USTs) are removed or replaced. Excavation is most often used where contaminated soils are shallow and accessible, however some excavations can reach depths of up to 100 feet with specialized excavators.
Excavation is often referred to as “ex situ” remediation (meaning above ground) or in some cases “dig and haul”, since the excavated soil is typically unearthed and hauled off to a waste disposal landfill. Excavation applications can be made more efficient by treating the soil on-site and then reusing the clean soil for backfill.
Excavation treatment provides remediation practitioners with the distinct benefits of speed and certainty – soil removal is immediate and permanent for contamination within the boundaries of the excavation. However, the size of excavations are typically smaller than the size of the contaminant plume in groundwater, and physical limitations to excavation – utilities, buildings, roads, bedrock – are common constraints to complete contaminant removal. Through the prescribed use of chemical oxidants and bioremediation products, residual contamination in excavations can be treated efficiently and cost-effectively.
Overall, this approach allows remediation practitioners to save time and money by treating the contaminants in-place while avoiding off-site disposal costs.
REGENESIS has been helping remediation practitioners optimize their excavations for over 20 years. We welcome the opportunity to provide you and your team with the tools you need to successfully plan and execute enhanced treatment at your next excavation project.
If you currently have a project and need a remediation solution now, request a design.
Have questions or want to explore some ideas? Contact Us to get in touch with a local representative.
FAQs about Excavation
The excavation of contaminated soil involves removing the contaminated soil and groundwater and transferring it offsite to a waste disposal facility. Once the excavation is complete, remediation can be implemented in the excavation pit.
Excavation treatment is beneficial because of the speed of the treatment and the ability to remove the most contaminant mass. However, the size of the contaminant plume typically reaches farther than the excavated site and it is difficult to completely excavate the contaminated material. Often, additional remediation of the site is completed through an application of oxidants and bioremediation products.
While considered safe and effective, more and more environmental professionals are considering alternatives to excavation due to the cost and impact on the environment when transferring the contaminated soil and groundwater offsite.