Pollution sources

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The following sources of contamination might help in order to detect and determine soil contamination. The historic study of the potentially contaminated study site will help to define if any of these pollution sources has taken place at the site.

Pollution sources:

  • Industrial activities generate contaminated soils mainly due to:

    • Unsuitable waste management: uncontrolled dumpsites, inappropriate storage, industrial ruins, etc..
    • Unsuitable practices in industrial installations: leakages, inappropriate storage, etc..
    • Accidents during transport, storage and manipulation of dangerous products or waste
    • Leakages caused by bad structure conditions

  • Installations that represent a possible source of contamination:

    • Uncovered pits
    • Process trenches
    • Pumps, valves and accessories
    • Transformers and capacitors
    • Waste storage areas
    • Tanks aboveground (ASTs), underground (USTs), onground (OSTs)
    • Buried or aerial pipes
    • Loading/unloading areas
    • Wastewater treatment plants, sumps, ponds, etc.

  • Potential contaminating activities:

    • Direct surface disposal:

      • Spillage during transport, loading and unloading operations
      • Pipe leakages
      • Regular spills in industrial installations
      • Leakages caused during industrial accidents

    • Underground disposal:

      • Leakages from underground storage tanks (USTs)
      • Leakages from buried pipes
      • Leakages from industrial sewer systems

    • Unsuitable dangerous waste management:

      • Open air dangerous waste storage
      • Dangerous waste abandonment: for example slopes
      • Dangerous waste burial site

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