Ive Design

Bioremediation in Denmark - a case study

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Ive Design

Back in the 1990s the closure of several fuel stations in Denmark led to extensive land contamination as underground storage tanks gradually began leaking. After six years of attempted clean-up by the companies concerned the regulatory bodies concluded the situation had not been sufficiently addressed. As a result they refused to complete payment schedules which were based on the success of the cleaning regimes.

Andy Ive was called in by the company tasked with cleaning the sites to approach the problem from a fresh perspective and was able to develop successful solutions where others had failed.

The challenge

The immediate task was to address the problems of five sites covering several hundred square metres of contaminated land.

Added to this, IVE had to develop strategies for the complications caused by the company undergoing reorganization which was resulting in insufficient focus on completing the assigned tasks.

Methods for dealing with the contamination process until that point had concentrated on reporting technologies rather than developing bioremediation technologies to efficiently address the problem. As the technology selected by the original engineers was itself polluting the soils, so the reporting showed worsening conditions.

The solution

IVE began by taking a fresh look at the environmental issues inherent in the project and the engineering systems which were already in place for the five sites.

Bringing 30 years of engineering experience and a good deal of lateral thinking to the project, Andy Ive developed a simple, cost effective solution.

By building bypasses and installing new pumps, it was possible to improve bioremediation potential using some of the existing equipment. In less than a year the problems were eradicated and re-development became possible.

Well, well, well

The systems used were vertical air injection wells running down to just below the water table.

Meanwhile horizontal vacuum extraction wells removed the CO2 which was being produced by the natural bacteria feeding on the pollution from the leaking tanks.

Air stripping was also used on the water table liquids pumped out, aerating the water and removing any dissolved hydrocarbons.

Resulting changes in the water table levels meant extra wells needed to be drilled using local companies close to each site, with the contracts written, awarded and managed on site by Andy Ive and his team.

A clean result

Andy Ive’s new approach to the problem and the system designed and implemented by IVE was so successful in restoring the land to its original condition that the regulatory authorities were satisfied and able to give the go-ahead for building work to commence. The reclaimed land at the main site is now home to a brand new supermarket for the local population.

Client: Brown & Root
Consultant: Andy Ive of IVE

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