Acid Sulfate Soil Assessment And How to Minimise The Problem

Acid sulfate soils are common in different parts of the world. You may find them saturated with water, in the oxygen-free state. This type of soil is considered as safe and harmless as long as it is not disturbed. Pyrites or microscopic crystals of iron sulfide are one of the components of this soil. The moment the acid sulfate soils are excavated or dug up, they come in direct contact with oxygen. As a result, some reactions are taken place between the pyrite and oxygen and pyrite is converted into sulphuric acid. Now it is known to us that the presence of sulphuric acids make the soil and water contaminated. It is harmful for the environment and causes damage to the buildings, roads and other concrete structures.

Acid sulfate soils are often found in many estuaries and embayment in Queensland and its surrounding areas. Even the problem of soil and water contamination increases after a rainfall when the acid and metals like aluminium and iron are spread from the affected soil to the surrounding environment. Thankfully, some organisations not only conduct site-specific acid sulfate soil assessment but also provide solutions such as soil and water treatment Sunshine Coast and other environmental management plans.

How to Manage Acid Sulfate Soils

The best way to deal with the problem of acid sulfate soils is to avoid them when possible. People are encouraged to stay away from these contaminated soils. Some environment management firms in Australia skilfully handle the task of identification and mapping of the acid sulfate soils.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to avoid these soils all places, especially where human lives. Oftentimes, we cannot avoid the construction of buildings, roads and other structures in and around these soils. In those cases, we should consider minimising the level of disturbance with some soil and water treatment processes.

Minimise the problem

It is easy to minimise the problem caused by acid sulfate soils. You need to follow certain steps such as –

  • When you are going to start a construction project, plan it such way that it can minimise the amount of excavation. For example, if you design an above-ground car parking facility for a building instead of the basement, you don’t need to dig up the soil and disturb its acid sulfate layer.
  • Conduct an acid sulfate soil assessment by professional environment management firm before starting a construction. Such assessment often helps to find out the place where the acid sulfate soils are deeply buried.
  • The environmental management firms also follow some site management procedures and recommend some construction techniques that prevent the exposure of acid sulfate soils to air.

Soil and water treatment

When there is no option to avoid the exposure of acid sulfate soils, you have to follow the proper treatment methods for soil and water. A reputable and experienced environment management firm suggests some methods of soil and water treatment Sunshine Coast. They advise mixing an alkaline product such as agricultural lime into the soil. The material helps to neutralise the sulfate level by reacting with acidity.

Since the soil and water treatment procedure is complex, it should be done methodically by experienced and trained people. So, find out a reputable environment management firm that has been operated by experienced and qualified engineers and scientists.

Hi I am Edward Taylor, a professional environmental practitioner. I have been leading a team of environmental professionals for more than 10 years. I am frequent writer on many environmental articles that have been published in many blogs and online journals. Here I can write about soil and water treatment in Sunshine Coast area.

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