Hidronor News

We fight climate change by recovering contaminated soils in Chile


Since 2009, Chile has made progress in the development of regulations that regulate the treatment and disposal of contaminated land; However, to date, we still do not have specific legislation for this and we are the only OECD country that does not have specific legislation for soils.

Given this panorama, and added to the official figures of contaminated land in our country (3,360 to be exact, located mainly in the great north and south of the country), at Hidronor we provide a series of services that contribute to combat climate change sustainably recovering contaminated soils.

How do we do it?

Our Regional Sales and Marketing manager, Juan Andrés Salamanca, explains that, prior to the beginning of the soil treatment, the purpose of its recovery must be defined: tourism, industrial reconversion or green areas.

“Once this has been clarified, we carry out specific evaluations to determine the feasibility of reuse of the site, the risk that this work will imply for human and environmental health; and, finally, the technical, economic and social approach that we must give it ”, he adds.

Next, we detail the various factors that must be considered when treating contaminated soils: geographic location, type of soil, group of contaminants and level of contamination; the time it will take to clean up; the cost of remediation; the social impact, and the efficiency of the process, in the sense of whether its effects will be temporary or permanent.

With this information, we then proceed to apply the best techniques to carry out the process, starting with the containment that consists of installing a hydraulic, vertical or horizontal barrier, or a surface seal, which prevents the passage of contaminants into possible masses of groundwater.

Sin embargo, dependiendo de las características del terreno, se puede implementar también la extracción de contaminantes por medio de evaporación. “Las emisiones deben ser tratadas de forma previa a su descarga a la atmósfera, mediante extracción por aire, agua o por fases, el uso de agentes químicos, oxidación o desorción térmica, entre otras técnicas” explica Juan Andrés.

In summary, in the last 10 years at Hidronor we have managed more than 450,000 tons of contaminated soils throughout Chile, and we have services of soil remediation and sanitation ranging from sampling procedures, laboratory analysis, extraction, bagging, transport, treatment and final disposal of waste in own and authorized facilities.


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