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Development of technology for assessing environmental risk in places with contaminated underground soil and aquifers

Grant number: 97/07235-9
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: January 01, 1998 - November 30, 2000
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering
Principal Investigator:Nelson Ellert
Grantee:Nelson Ellert
Company:Hidro-Ambiente Projetos, Consultoria e Serviços S/C Ltda
City: São Paulo

Abstract

This research project is intended to consolidate solutions for the restoration of the official city of Cubatão (SP) garbage dump. To achieve these objectives it is intended to develop and apply methods of risk assessment appropriate to tropical environmental conditions. Risk Assessment methods are currently quite frequently applied in northern hemisphere countries, as a decision-making tool in allocating priorities to the environmental restoration of contaminated areas. These methods will enable more efficient underground soil and aquifer remediation technologies to be identified, having less impact from the social and environmental point of view. This garbage dump, located along the valleys of the River Cubatão and of the dos Pilões creek, at the foot of the Serra do Mar ridge, was used up to the 70s as a dump for household waste. The lack of control enabled dangerous, and sometimes toxic industrial waste mixed with household and hospital waste to be deposited. After having been officially deactivated, around 70 families moved there. The presence of dangerous and toxic waste contaminated some of the families living there. As a result of this episode the families were obliged to leave the area. Downstream from the area, there is a water reservoir belonging to Sabesp. The area is still used for recreation. The presence of heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and pesticides was detected in the groundwater and soil in concentrations above the permitted levels. (AU)