Soil research

Soil Research and Soil Remediation never sleep, including this year.

  • The first steps were taken to sanitise the soil at the heavily polluted site of Fort Filips. In the past, this location had been heavily polluted through the illegal dumping of waste. An impenetrable wall was placed around the heaviest concentrations of pollution in 2020, which will prevent any further spread in the future. The surrounding polluted earth was dug up further and transported away to an earth cleaner. The further reorganisation of the entire area around Fort Filips into a safe and natural habitat will continue in 2021.

 

  • At the former GM site, where there is both fuel/solvent pollution and PFOS pollution, OVAM and Port of Antwerp began the collective soil sanitation in September 2020. The Port Authority is obliged to sanitise fuel pollution; it has been given the status of innocent owner for PFOS pollution. Given that both types of pollution are so intertwined, the decision was taken to combine these along with OVAM.

 

  • The polluted earth will be dug up and transported away to an earth cleaner. After cleaning, the earth will be brought back to the site.

 

Water bed

We are continually monitoring the water bed quality in the port area too. We always determine the quality of the dredgings in advance of dredging works. In line with this, we can then determine a suitable destination for these dredgings, polluted or otherwise.

 

Dredgings from maintenance generally end up at the AMORAS dewatering site. For deepening material, on the other hand, which has generally not been enriched for environmental hygiene, reuse options will be evaluated.

 

It has been possible to send dredgings polluted with TBT to the dewatering installation AMORAS for processing since mid-2020. Thanks to an upgrade of the water treatment installation, we can now process water originating from heavily polluted dredgings too. So this is good news.

 

After all, by tackling the TBT pollution in the waterbed, we are reducing the risk of this spreading to the water column above, and thus also the risk of it spreading to the Scheldt.