Is it safe to build on contaminated soil?

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Some people who try to build their own home come up against the issue of contaminated soil. A survey of the land or environmental searches may find that the soil is contaminated by chemicals or metals, so what does this mean for the building project and are there ways to mitigate the problem?

The brownfield v greenfield issue

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Greenfield land tends to refer to land that has never been built on or used for industrial purposes; as a result, it is often protected and is often found in the areas surrounding a town or village. Brownfield sites are those that were previously built on or used for industrial or agricultural purposes but are no longer used for this purpose. The benefit of brownfield sites is that there are rarely any objections to building on the land; however, these sites are far more likely to contain contaminated soil.

What might the soil contain?

Depending on the previous use of the site, the soil – and even the groundwater – may contain heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury or zinc; alternatively, it may contain chemicals such as asbestos. If the land was used for agriculture, the soil may contain herbicides, insecticides and even traces of antibiotics. Any of these have the potential to harm human health, as the metals and chemicals can enter edible plants that are grown in the soil.

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What is the answer?

Managed correctly, there is no reason why brownfield sites cannot be used to build new homes; in fact, many argue that it is the perfect answer to the problem of a lack of housing in the UK and enables us to conserve our vital greenfield space.

The question is how this contaminated land can be managed. A groundwater treatment and soil remediation service will treat and clean the area you want to build on, ensuring it is safe for human activity and habitation. A reputable soil remediation service company will be able to offer plenty of advice on your next steps. The government website also has more information on building on contaminated land.

Provided the soil and groundwater are adequately treated, there is no reason why building cannot take place on contaminated areas. Building on brownfield sites has the added benefit of preserving our greenfield spaces for the enjoyment of future generations.

Is it safe to build on contaminated soil?

Some people who try to build their own home come up against the issue of contaminated soil. A survey of the land or environmental searches may find that the soil is contaminated by chemicals or metals, so what does this mean for the building project and are there ways to mitigate the problem?

The brownfield v greenfield issue

Greenfield land tends to refer to land that has never been built on or used for industrial purposes; as a result, it is often protected and is often found in the areas surrounding a town or village. Brownfield sites are those that were previously built on or used for industrial or agricultural purposes but are no longer used for this purpose. The benefit of brownfield sites is that there are rarely any objections to building on the land; however, these sites are far more likely to contain contaminated soil.

What might the soil contain?

Depending on the previous use of the site, the soil – and even the groundwater – may contain heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury or zinc; alternatively, it may contain chemicals such as asbestos. If the land was used for agriculture, the soil may contain herbicides, insecticides and even traces of antibiotics. Any of these have the potential to harm human health, as the metals and chemicals can enter edible plants that are grown in the soil.

 

Image Credit

What is the answer?

Managed correctly, there is no reason why brownfield sites cannot be used to build new homes; in fact, many argue that it is the perfect answer to the problem of a lack of housing in the UK and enables us to conserve our vital greenfield space.

The question is how this contaminated land can be managed. A groundwater treatment and soil remediation service will treat and clean the area you want to build on, ensuring it is safe for human activity and habitation. A reputable soil remediation service company will be able to offer plenty of advice on your next steps. The government website also has more information on building on contaminated land.

Provided the soil and groundwater are adequately treated, there is no reason why building cannot take place on contaminated areas. Building on brownfield sites has the added benefit of preserving our greenfield spaces for the enjoyment of future generations.


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Hi, I am Russell Chowdhury; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with depression and anxiety; here is my blogs how to recover from anxiety and how to fight with anxiety. I hope everyone will like my blogs.

Russell Chowdhury

Hi, I am Russell Chowdhury; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with depression and anxiety; here is my blogs how to recover from anxiety and how to fight with anxiety. I hope everyone will like my blogs.

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