All burials ultimately produce contaminants which over time will be released into the ground. The time taken to flush out these contaminants from the burial is directly related to the effective rainfall and infiltration rate through the soil and grave. The key issue is then a question of the fate and transport of these contaminants. Contaminants from a burial site may migrate into:
- the soil zone surrounding the burial;
- the unsaturated zone of the underlying aquifer; and
- the saturated zone of the aquifer.
The annual rate of burial will influence both the potential volume of contaminated water which may form by leaching from graves and the composition and strength of the effluent. The main receptor for contaminants will be the water environment, and in particular groundwater. Pathways which pose the greatest threat to groundwaters from dissolved and particulate contaminants, are those where hydrogeological factors allow rapid movement of pollutants from the source to the receptor.
How can we help?
Our experienced team of environmental engineers can assess the ground and groundwater to model the likely spread of contaminants and monitor contaminant spread over time and where necessary suggest remedial measure. The three key services that we offer are:
- Tier 1 Risk screening – desk study with a preliminary assessment.
- Tier 2 Preliminary quantitative risk assessment with a detailed desk study and preliminary site investigation – this introduces some longer term groundwater monitoring.
- Tier 3 Detailed quantitative risk assessment – as above, but including groundwater modelling and wider environmental assessments.