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Pump and treat: when is it necessary?

fuel oil contamination

When we come across a contaminated site, we have two priorities: to prevent the pollutants from spreading into nature or sources of drinking water, and to decontaminate the site in the most eco-friendly way possible. Pump and treat is sometimes used at Enutech to rapidly remove contaminants from groundwater.

What is pump and treat?

The pump and treat technique is used to decontaminate groundwater containing fuel oil. It is generally used when large quantities of free-phase contaminants are present on the site.

The first step is to dig one or more extraction wells. The contaminated water is then pumped out of the ground and treated at a disposal centre. When only a small quantity of oil remains on the surface of the water, we can proceed with the in situ rehabilitation of the site, using our usual techniques.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of pump and treat?

Contaminated groundwater is a danger to ecosystems and sources of drinking water. By rapidly removing contaminated water from the ground, we can prevent it from spreading into the environment. The water that is removed from the ground is carefully analysed and then sent to a treatment centre. However, the pump and treat technique is rarely sufficient to completely rehabilitate a site. That's why we only use it when there is free-phase contaminants, and only as the first stage in an in situ treatment. The latter will have the advantage of treating all the contaminants remaining in the soil and groundwater once pumping has been completed.

A first step before in situ treatment of contaminated soil

Contaminated groundwater and soil must be treated in a way that is safe for humans and nature. Environmental characterization (phases 2 and 3) will determine the nature and extent of the contamination. Enutech offers soil and groundwater assessment, characterisation and remediation services. Our methods are environmentally friendly and do not require excavation.

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