Remediation Strategies - Capping

Contaminated site remediation can take many different forms.  A relatively cheap way to control cross contamination involving the infiltration of surface water into a contaminated plume/site is to cap the overlying area.  The purpose of capping a site is to prevent surface water from infiltrating the plume/site and in doing so prevent the spread of contaminants into the groundwater as well as the cross contamination of subsurface soils. Another benefit of capping a contaminated area is that it allows landscaping works to occur over the contaminated area and as such improve the aesthetics of the site. Despite not removing or treating identified contamination on site, capping prevents the off site migration of contaminated soils.

A variety of natural and synthetic materials can be used in the capping systems.  These may range from single layer systems to multi layer capping systems.  Capping methods vary dependent upon site conditions, including contaminant chemistry, soil type, climate, land use, site location and budget to name a few.  The design specification of the capping material and system should consider all of the above variants.

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