Waste Management Total Solutions Ltd are working in partnership to deliver pollution control and bioremediation of rail ballast across the business sectors.
Bioremediation uses cultivated oil degrading bacteria and microbes to digest oil petrol and diesel into harmless waste products (mostly carbon dioxide and water). However, it had not previously been used to clean ballast until bioremediation specialists, Waste Management Total Solutions (WTMS) and our scientific subcontractors, who performed the laboratory testing, developed the program of application. A liquid mix of biocatalysts and nutrients is sprayed onto ballast as part of the bioremediation program.
It has been proven that bioremediation treatment reduces the existing hydrocarbon concentrations within the contaminated ballast. A number of additional benefits were also realised, including:
Reduced potential for surface contamination to pollute at greater depths
Greater control over minimising further accumulation of contaminated ballast
A reduction in risk to railway workers from exposure to hazardous substances
An improved appearance of the ballast
Bioremediation is the restoration of a surface or object to the condition that is no longer harmful to plant or animal life. While it is an established method of treatment but it had never been used in this context before. We were delighted with the results; regular applications of bacterial and nutrients will help to prevent further contamination too.
Train movements and their subsequent contamination from hydrocarbon spill have long been an issue for the industry. Depots, sidings, station areas, platform ends and turnaround points are all examples of areas that are hard to clean, irrespective of the size of spillage. Bioremediation offers a very practical, economical and environmentally friendly method for treating hydrocarbon contamination.