PotashCorp

Improving Groundwater with Chemical Treatments

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Courtesy of PotashCorp

Groundwater contributes to the health and well-being of a natural environment in the area and those systems connected to it. There are times that contaminants create an imbalance in groundwater, and a groundwater treatment system needs to be applied. Here are some chemical treatments that work to help treat groundwater.

The Basics of Groundwater Remediation

For the health of an environment and surrounding organisms, or for the sake of converting groundwater for other uses, groundwater remediation is a useful tool. Water is most often pumped from the ground and treated with pressure, filters, and other chemicals before either being placed back into the environment or being transported elsewhere for alternative use. For instance, if a large number of cattle are given open access in their pasture to a large body of water that happens to be a part of the groundwater table, any pathogens transmitted to that water body through an abundance of cow feces can then infect the entire groundwater system in the area. This is just one example of when remediation can be used.

Three Main Types of Groundwater Remediation

In groundwater treatment, a wide birth of strategies and techniques can be used to remove contaminants for the sake of alternative uses, or for environmental decontamination. Along with chemical treatments, there are biological and physical treatments used as well. Biological treatments might include things like microorganisms, and physical treatments might include things like high pressure.

Chemical Precipitation

If hardness or heavy metals are an issue in samples of groundwater, then chemical precipitation may be the right remedy. It is achieved through adding a chemical agent, and it takes advantage of the natural flow of water in order to let the chemical process its way through.

Ion Exchange

This process is created by passing water downward and highly under pressure, through set materials that helps with the ionization process. This process happens through using both natural and synthetic materials, depending on the needs of the particular groundwater contaminant situation.

Carbon Absorption

Another chemical treatment for water remediation is through carbon absorption. This is most commonly done using bituminous coal, but other materials are used as well. The goal is to help bind the contaminants to carbon atoms that are then removed from the water.

Chemical Oxidation

There is a way to use chemical oxidation as well to treat contaminated groundwater. Chemical oxidants are used to destroy or convert organic contaminants to purify the water. It involves the use of electricity and the right number of components to treat the water.

Surfactant Enhanced Recovery

Surfactants are surface-active agents that are often used in soaps and detergents. These chemical ingredients act in the same way that soap does on your hands—to help capture and remove contaminants. The process is useful when working with water that’s been contaminated with highly dense liquid materials.

Permeable Reactive Barriers

There are specific filters that can be used for chemically filtering water as well. There are sometimes chemicals incorporated into the filters that are used to help remediate groundwater that has been contaminated in some form or other.

Water remediation is highly important in groundwater, whether it’s for environmental remediation or for the purpose of converting groundwater into other uses. Chemical treatment is just one of many other factors that work together to help remediate groundwater effectively.

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