Amanda Ludlow, Principal Scientist with Roux Associates, Inc. traveled to Peru on behalf of theBlacksmith Institute to investigate contamination from abandoned oil wells located in the hills surrounding Puno, in the communities of Pirin, Ahuallane and Huancane, located on the northwestern shores of Lake Titicaca.
Abandoned oil extraction wells were reported to discharge metal, oil and salt contamination into the nearby water and soil, ultimately draining to Lake Titicaca. While many of the wells were closed and capped, residual contamination was detected in the adjacent and downgradient soil (e.g., arsenic 36,715 mg/kg). The Peru soil cleanup standard for agriculture and residential areas is 50 mg/kg. Immediately adjacent to the contaminated soil are potato fields, homes and a school.
Currently Roux Associates and the Blacksmith Institute are developing remediation plans for both the arsenic contaminated soil (i.e., capping and containment) as well as for the abandoned wells which continue to discharge contaminated water to the communities (i.e., constructed treatment wetlands). Construction is anticipated to begin Spring 2014.
Roux Associates and the Blacksmith Institute have partnered on several cleanup projects worldwide as we are both committed to assisting and educating others about the value of employing natural systems to improve water quality. The Blacksmith Institute is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low and middle income countries, where human health is at risk. Since its inception in 1999, Blacksmith has completed more than 50 cleanup projects in 21 countries. Blacksmith works closely with national stakeholders from communities, industry and governments, and coordinates with key organizations such as the World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Commission, many of which provide funding. For more information about the Blacksmith Institute click below:
Roux Associates, Inc. are nationally recognized experts and leaders in the design and implementation of sustainable, low-cost Engineered Natural Systems (ENS®) treatment technologies such as Constructed Treatment Wetlands (CTW), Phytotechnologies, and other passive technologies (e.g., permeable reactive barriers and natural media filtration). Our award-winning ENS® technologies have been used to treat groundwater and surface water contamination, stormwater runoff, contaminated soils and sediments, landfill leachate, and industrial/ municipal wastewaters.