Soil remediation, also known as soil washing, is a term that refers to various processes designed to remove contaminants from soil. Soil contamination is caused by the presence of man-made chemicals in the natural soil environment. It is often caused by some form of industrial activity, agricultural chemicals or the improper disposal of waste. The most common chemicals involved in soil pollution are petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides lead and other heavy metals. Soil contamination can also happen as a result of underground storage tanks rupturing or the leaching of waste from landfills. Mining, fertilizer application, oil and fuel dumping and a multitude of other environmental issues can also cause pollution of the soil.
The biggest concern associated with soil contamination is the harm it can cause to human health. There are significant health risks involved with direct contact with contaminated soil, the vapours from the contaminants and even secondary contamination of water supplies.
Soil remediation is a way of purifying and revitalizing the soil. It is the process of removing contaminants in order to protect both the health of the population and the environment. In short, the goal of the process is to restore the soil to its natural, pollution-free state.