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Phytoremediation Project

An intermediate oil and gas company requested Earthmaster’s assistance to remediate over 9,000 m3 of hydrocarbon (F2 and F3) impacted soil that originated from several emulsion spills. An alternative to landfill disposal was desired due to the significant distance to the closest Class 2 landfill and the associated high trucking costs.

Earthmaster recommended phytoremediation using our shared proprietary technology - PEPS The PEPS systems were developed through a partnership between Waterloo Environmental Technology Inc., the University of Waterloo and Earthmaster Environmental Strategies Inc. (Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) Enhanced Phytoremediation Systems). Three ERCB-approved soil treatment facilities were designed and constructed at three different locations in close proximity to the contaminated material. After impacted soil was spread on each of the soil treatment pads to a depth of 0.40 m, the soil was conditioned, soil amendments were added and a PGPR-treated mixture of annual and perennial grasses was sown in late autumn 2011. Earthmaster and Waterloo Environmental Biotechnology Inc. worked together for deployment of the PEPS system.

In the first treatment year after seeding, plant growth on the site was excellent with 100% ground cover by the end of the season. Soil testing at 0.00-0.20 m, which approximately corresponds to the first year rooting depth, determined that F2 hydrocarbons decreased by an average of 65%, and F3 levels decreased by 17% across all three sites. Based upon results from other similar sites that have been treated using PEPS, it is anticipated that Alberta Tier 1 Criteria will be achieved at this site within three growing seasons. Costs at the end of the project are forecast to be 30-40% less than the landfill disposal option.

For more information on this project or any other, contact Perry Gerwing at or 403-201-5111 (ext.230)