Ranking and Choosing Remedial Technologies

We are always looking for ways to better serve our clients when it comes to remediation design. After all, they rely on our expertise and command of chlorinated solvents to guide them through what could potentially be a very challenging chapter in their lives. Continually developing our abilities to think critically and make sound, confident decisions can go a long way towards choosing the best course of action.  Enter the EnviroForensics Colloquium series; a series of bi-weekly discussions held among our staff to facilitate discussion and learning regarding the topic for that session.

The most recent discussion focused on remediation design, and more specifically, how our teams go about choosing one remedial technology over the other. It’s a significant subject, since the client’s wishes are heavily considered during this process.

Ranking Remediation Design Approaches

Our technical staff utilize screening matrices that help the tech team rank the remedial approaches to a given project Site. Geological conditions are typically the first elements to be taken into account. Understanding the nature of the soil and how layers of rock or sediment stack up provides the starting point in determining the technology needed to reduce contaminant concentrations. There are some remedial applications that don’t have the effectiveness in certain types of soil or geological conditions.

Contaminant Conditions

Contaminant Conditions (the nature and extent of impact) are also an important consideration during remediation design. How much is in the soil and groundwater? And where is it traveling? How fast?  These answers can narrow down the options based on what technologies will be effective in treating the impact.

Land Usage

Land usage must also be assessed. What is the property’s use right now? How will it be used in the future? If it’s a business and it’s going to continue to be one, the cleanup strategy will be considerably less invasive and more labor intensive.  Cleanup standards are different for residential vs commercial land use.

Cost-Effective Approaches

We prioritize cost-effectiveness. Our aim as a company is to utilize a technology that will require the fewest resources while maintaining a high level of effectiveness.  Not hitting on either of these targets causes costs to rise.  We focus on our client’s needs and receive a fair amount of business through word of mouth.  We take great pride in that.


Which brings us to another important client –driven factor; timing. How quickly does the client need this project to be finished? And what kind of technologies can deliver the desired effects in that period of time? We want to be able to close out the project as quickly as we can: effectively remediating the contamination while keeping with the client’s needs.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns can loom large for some technologies. A miscalculation on a subsurface injection or a slip of the wrist on the operating lever of a backhoe can pose serious threats to health and safety at the project Site. One of our core values here at EnviroForensics involves “contributing to a healthy community.” We like to practice what we preach, so if there’s a different, more safe method of remediation, we will always go in that direction.

Continual Learning

EnviroForensics provides this and many other training and learning opportunities for our staff at all levels.  Chlorinated Solvents are our specialty, and activities like these allow us to retain a high level of excellence in this niche. It should be noted we operate with a “we over me” mentality often collaborating in teams to ensure the client get the best service possible, and education is key for this to happen.  The colloquium series is a led discussion by our Chief Geologist or a different expert on a topic.  Attendees are provided materials to read or consider prior to the meeting.  We keep our eyes forward to stay on the cutting edge of technology and the most effective application of our skills.

Helping you with property redevelopment after remediation

Often times our clients are concerned about our work impeding their business, or worse yet, standing in the way of reaching the goal of property redevelopment.  To the contrary – our work from the big picture, helps them gain back their property as an asset.  A case in point is when clients of ours in southern Indiana were going out of business due to less demand for services, they were trying to sell their property.  After having several interested buyers walk away because of rumors that the EPA forced them to close due to the environmental problems, we offered additional service.  Our marketing team created a flyer which contained vital information regarding notifying prospective buyers of the ongoing and “all expenses paid” environmental clean-up at the property and enrollment of the site in the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP). This information will educate prospective buyers, and should put them at ease with regard to the environmental status of the property. The clients were very happy and thankful we are looking out to help them with property redevelopment.

Helping Clients with Property Redevelopment - Commercial Real Estate Poster


Poster text: “The property has been enrolled in the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). We have cleaned clothes for decades and prior to selling, have engaged with the IDEM voluntarily to clean up the environment beneath and around our facility. The process is common among dry cleaners and other industrial facilities. In this case, it is being fully funded to comply with the IDEM and perform the reasonable and necessary work to obtain the clean bill of health for the property. This is good news for any prospective purchaser! There is currently a Remediation Work Plan (RWP) submitted to the IDEM that is moving the Site property toward regulatory closure. The facility is in the heart of the commercial district in a great location. Please feel free to address an inquiries too: John & Jane Doe at 555-555-5555.”

What it takes to keep our remediation systems running

Remediation is a calculated, and deliberate process. One that takes months and sometimes years, depending on how large the volume of contaminant is. Luckily, we have high-tech solutions that help us with the day-to-day monitoring of the cleanup process. We regularly install remediation systems that work autonomously and without the need for constant supervision, which saves our clients time and money. But, in order to reap those benefits, we must make sure we’re properly maintaining the mechanical components of remediation systems.

Whether it’s a Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE), Dual Phase Extraction (DPE), Air Sparge, or Ozone Sparge System, we enact a regularly scheduled preventative maintenance program. The idea is to keep the system running efficiently, and catch any potential problem before it turns into a real problem. The focus, during our maintenance visits, is on keeping the system clean, lubricating bearings and other moving parts, correcting deficiencies (i.e. worn or broken belts, rusted hardware, dirty filters), and operating safety devices. We also pay close attention to hazard controls like machine guards, exhaust ventilation, silencers, control technology, and other devices important to the operation of the machine.

There are two obvious advantages to Preventative Maintenance. First and foremost, it preserves and enhances the reliability of our equipment and ensures optimal efficiency. A broken component that goes unrepaired could lead to bigger issues down the road, costing the client both time and money. And when we offer our services, we make promises to our client, and we don’t like to break them. Maintaining a working remediation system that will operate either at or underneath the quoted costs goes a long way in helping us keep those promises.

Another distinct advantage to Preventative Maintenance is that it helps us reach our health and safety goals. Proactive repairs protect us from possible injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment. Thorough record-keeping allows for more seamless automation and upkeep, and gives us more transparency with our regulatory partners. As we mentioned earlier, it also improves the efficiency of the system in removing contaminants, and the ultimate goal is to root out the human health risks anyway.

We appreciate the technology that we have at our disposal. Active remediation systems allow us to conduct the meticulous process of remediation without continuous human supervision and oversight. The caveat is maintaining these systems, making sure they’re running at optimal efficiency, and uncovering any problems before they cost the client time or money. A properly executed preventative maintenance plan allows us to stay one step ahead.


What we look for during a preventative maintenance check of our remediation systems


Above are three good examples of things we look out for during maintenance of our remediation systems. Dirty filters, signs of wear, and rust are things that could impact the efficiency of our systems.