Bioremediation- a Greener Choice

By: Hannah Bryan

What is Bioremediation?

Bioremediation uses organisms/living things (micro-organisms, fungi, bacteria, and green plants) to remove contaminants from a polluted environment (polluted water) and to help correct pollution problems. If the correct temperature, food, and nutrients are present, the microbes will grow and multiply to eat more contaminants. Conditions can be fixed by adding amendments (for example mollasses and vegetable oil to air and chemicals that produce oxygen). The micro-organisms cannot clean out metals like mercury, but the aqua plants will eat them, multiply, and eat the rest. The plants will then be removed, and the water becomes clean and safe.

Pros and Cons

Materials and Long Term Effects

There are only a few materials needed, and they are not always mandatory. Possible materials are amendments, as well as mixers and/or pumps which are more econimical than other materials needed to clean water. The time required to properly complete the process can range from a few months to a few years depending on how deep the water is, and if amendments are needed.

The long term effects are still being discovered and so far they have been good. Bioremediation will most likely keep the water clean once complete, make the water consumable, it is a less costly way to clean water which is more efficient, and it targets mainly wetlands which are natural water cleaners so it's a push in the right direction for sustaining our water supply.

Interesting Facts and More Information

Did you know...

-Specially designed wetlands are being used to clean sewage using bioremediation

-In 2012 bioremediation was being used in over one hundred cities across the U.S.A.

-In New Jersey, ground water was contaminated by dry cleaning solvent, but is being sucessfully cleaned by bioremediation

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