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Proper Waste Disposal: Where Does Industrial Waste Go?

Industrial wastes are difficult to handle, particularly toxic ones. You can't simply throw these wastes in the trash like normal everyday waste. They can cause health problems and affect the environment, particularly the soil and plants. They can also leak airborne or waterborne contaminants which can spread to nearby communities.

The Dangers of Industrial Waste

Many industrial wastes can be toxic, such as:

  1. Heavy metals. These naturally occurring substances are hard to dispose because they do not disintegrate. If they are toxic, they require underground disposal to prevent direct contact with any living thing.
  2. Toxins and various chemicals can cause birth defects, renal problems, and cancer in humans.
  3. Brine water. This is water that can no longer be filtered to clarity. Brine water cannot be used for hygienic purposes and it usually contains high levels of salt which is unhealthy for human use.

Deep Disposal Wells

The purpose of disposal well projects is to provide proper dumping locations for industrial wastes. These projects are often done by major companies that specialize in deep injection wells and brine disposal wells. The process of creating such a well requires various industrial machines and equipment.

Most wells are designed to have a capacity of more than 10,000 barrels of waste substance. It is required to create a well deep enough to prevent leakage of toxic waste into land areas which are near bodies of water or residential and commercial locations. There is a penalty for not following proper disposal well construction and application. If the waste leaked into the soil or nearby areas, the company that disposed their waste there will be held liable as well as the company that constructed the well.

The well should be a few thousands of feet underneath the surface and it should be covered in limestone or sandstone. Various organizations oversee the development and utilization of deep disposal wells, the most prominent of which is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They inspect and approve disposal well projects to ensure that any waste sent there will not cause any harm to people and ecosystems nearby.

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