Almelo future-proof

Almelo has a rich history of steel and textile industry. Most of the companies have disappeared, but their traces are still found in the subsoil. Scattered across the city, chlorinated solvents (VOCll were used to clean metal and textile. Doing so, these substances unfortunately spread into the soil.

Due to the fact that the soil of Almelo, to a great depth, primarily consists of sand and because VOCl have the tendency to migrate through the groundwater layer, the contamination is present throughout the entire thickness of the body of sand. Total remediation of all the different contaminated locations is technically and financially impossible. That’s why it is important to make the right choices and use the available financial resources to get the highest possible environmental benefit and at the same time control the risks of the contamination.

To make responsible choices at a municipal level on the subject of handling and controlling the groundwater contaminations, the municipality of Almelo has opted for area-oriented groundwater and soil management. In 2017 the municipality of Almelo asked Bioclear earth, Witteveen + Bos and Wareco to establish a concrete implementation program. Each of the consultancies brought their own expertise to the table. Furthermore we made use of the very insightful areal knowledge of the municipality and the waterboard. Through a pleasant and effective cooperation of all parties we have managed to realise a complete implementation for an area-oriented and groundwater management program within 9 months.

The role of Bioclear earth was to give insight in future spreading of the contamination, to assess if and where risks might occur and to determine how these risks must be monitored and if necessary removed. We have used up-to-date information of the actual contamination situation made available by the municipality, the groundwater model provided by Wareco in which the flow patterns of the groundwater are calculated and our own knowledge of the behaviour of VOCl in the soil. Besides controlling the risks, the ambition of the municipality is to improve the quality of the groundwater in the long term. We have explored several options to tackle this as effectively as possible.

Lydia Plant in behalf of the municipality of Almelo: “Bioclear earth has shown great professionalism in combining its expert knowledge with our know-how on the local contamination issues. This has resulted in a robust implementation program, which the municipality of Almelo can translate into her policy for area-oriented groundwater contamination control. We are very satisfied with our collaboration and very happy with the end result.”

Would you like to know more about area-oriented ground and soil management, please contact Maurice Henssen.

Maurice Henssen
Senior consultant strategic projects