The widespread dispersal of heavy metals and potentially toxic trace elements in sewage, industrial wastes and runoff from urban, agricultural land and mine sites has been implicated as a major factor contributing to the pollution of many aquatic ecosystems. Heavy/trace metal pollution has become a matter of great concern over the last few decades, not only because of the threat public water supplies but also with the damage caused to the aquatic life. Metals constitute a major environmental problem owing to their toxicity and propensity to accumulate in living organisms.
They may affect organisms directly by accumulating in the body or indirectly by transferring to the next trophic level of the food chain. The high accumulation in these components can result in serious ecological degradations. One of the most serious consequences of their persistence is the biological amplification of metal in the food chain.
USERRG offers comprehensive solutions for public and private heavy/trace metal remediation and acid neutralization projects. Our innovative technologies are practical, economically feasible and environmentally-sound. They enable our customers to satisfy strict Federal, state, and local water quality protection regulations. We specialize in complex projects from multiple disciplines including acid mine drainage, acid sulfate soil, Federal and state Superfund sites, foundry operations (e.g. iron, steel, aluminum, brass, copper, chromium) and industrial and municipal wastewater treatment plants.
The general advantages of using WP-1™ Technology compared with conventional metal adsorption and acid neutralization technologies (e.g. lime) include:
WP-1™ achieves much lower metal concentrations in contaminated waters than lime, ensuring that treated water can meet standards that will protect sensitive ecosystems.
WP-1™, unlike lime, does not produce large volumes of unstable contaminated sludge that has to be managed and disposed of safely. WP-1™ generates a "sediment" that is typically >50% more consolidated than traditional flocculants e.g. aluminum sulfate, lime.
WP-1™ will not release the bound metals unless treated with very strong reagents and the longer WP-1™ is left to age after use, the more tightly the metals are bound.
WP-1™ cannot be leached from the soil by rainwater or groundwater before acid that needs to be neutralized has formed.
Bicarbonate ions that form when some of the lime dissolves may accelerate the decomposition of sulfides.
The mechanisms involved in removal of iron and aluminum from the water do not result in a reduction in acid neutralization capacity.
WP-1™ adsorption mechanisms are not redox sensitive. Consequently, WP-1™ will not release bound metals under reduced or oxidized redox conditions.
Heavy metal removal occurs rapidly (within hours), is not reversible and is not sensitive to the physical and chemical conditions of the system, which may hinder metal removal via other technologies (e.g. system switching between aerobic and anaerobic).
WP-1™ will simultaneously remove hazardous heavy and trace metals e.g. As, Cu, Zn to extremely low concentrations, eliminating, where necessary, the need for complex treatment systems.
WP-1™ can be physically and chemically engineered to suit the prevailing physico-chemical conditions of virtually any potential treatment location.