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Investigation and remediation of contaminated railway sites, Poland

Photo: COWI
Polish State Railways has made a major environmental effort to clean up much of the company's contaminated land. COWI has investigated and remediated the soil and groundwater contamination.

Many of the Polish State Railways' sites, operated in the Low Silesia Region, represented a threat to the environment, in particular to soil and ground water, due to uncontrolled leaks of oil products and chemicals, major accidental spills and inadequate hazardous waste management.

Environmental risk assessment

In a four-phased project ordered by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (DEPA) and co-financed by Polish State Railways, COWI identified, examined and carried out environmental risk assessments of more than 70 sites belonging to the Polish State Railways.

In many cases, the concentrations of oil products in soil, groundwater aquifers and surface water were exceeding admissible values.

Most vulnerable sites remediated

Three most affected and vulnerable sites in Węgliniec, Legnica and Kamieniec Ząbkowicki were selected and prioritised, and the contaminated soil and ground water were subsequently remediated.

The applied in situ remedial techniques comprised free phase vacuum pumping, passive and active skimmers, air sparging, soil vapour extraction and soil bioremediation.

Modern technologies introduced The project also embraced the introduction of modern environmental technology in wastewater treatment, economic analyses, the development of new emergency plans and training of railway staff.

LAST UPDATED: 02.02.2016