Soil webtool simplifies evaluation of need for additional investigation of soil contamination in Kempen

The soil in the Campine region (Belgium) is diffusely polluted due to historical emissions of zinc and cadmium from non-ferrous industries. It is therefore not always easy to determine in soil investigations whether increased concentrations of heavy metals in soil and/or groundwater are the result of the historical load or of former or recent plot-related activities. VITO developed in collaboration with OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders) a guideline and handy web application which can be used as an evaluation tool. This tool is now made available for soil remediation experts approved by OVAM. 

The web-based evaluation tool or 'soil webtool' is a useful tool to (un)link elevated heavy metal concentrations in soil and/or groundwater to historically elevated background concentrations when performing soil investigations (within the framework of the Soil Decree). 

Statistical evaluation

The soil webtool provides an overview of observed concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn) in soil and/or groundwater. A statistical evaluation using boxplots, reference maps and available plot-specific data determines the need for additional research into heavy metal contaminants found on high-risk soils located within the "wide area (9-km contour)" of the (former) Balen-Overpelt smelters. 

More information can be found on  the website of OVAM.