by Amie Hingston
As an apartment building owner, what are the implications of environmental contamination?
The owner could potentially face many issues when contamination has been detected on their property:
a) Property de-valuation
b) Potential health hazards
c) Legal actions from tenants and neighbours
d) Fines imposed by the Ministry of Environment
e) Stigma that the property is contaminated, which may reduce the owner’s ability to attract tenants.
What are the common causes of environmental contamination?
1. Oil or gasoline leak from storage tank,
especially heating oil
2. faulty septic system
3. faulty sewage drainage pipes
4. run-off, or subsurface contaminant migration from neighbouring properties if they include gas station, dry cleaner, chemical plant or other such industrial operations. Mixed use properties can especially be a problem with dry cleaners as tenants.
What does the typical process of remediation involve?
There are a number of different processes, depending on the type, severity and source of contaminants, ranging from excavating and removal of the contaminated soil, to applying bioremediation treatment by drilling boreholes or even without disrupting the soil.
How does Mariner's Choice assist in approaching environmental contamination? What makes this process unique?
MC works closely with the environmental engineers and contractors to assess the situation and determine the most appropriate approach. The end-goal is to provide the most efficient and effective lasting solution to the property owner. The products offered by MC, such as MUNOX®, assist in meeting that end-goal. The microbes in the products, in of themselves, are not unique. In fact, they are naturally occurring organisms. However, the manner in which they are harvested and processed to produce the stabilized, non-sporogenic healthy organism in such high concentration level is, indeed, the point of differentiation. The product goes into action almost on contact with the contaminants and with the high population base, it has the ability to overtake and eliminate the targeted contaminants.
The real advantage of our products is that there is a much higher standard of quality control and safety that goes into our products, so the property owner can be confident in great results without potential unintended consequences.
Will the bacteria utilized in your products harm the environment or natural wildlife in any way?
NO. As previously stated, they are naturally occurring bacteria, non-pathogenic (does not carry disease-causing pathogens). Once they have done their work in eliminating the contaminants by metabolizing them, they simply die off without negative impact on the environment.
What is the cost difference of your method versus traditional remediation?
If it is determined that bioremediation is an option and we compare that to removing the contaminants by excavation, the cost difference could be about 75%, with the additional benefits of not entirely disrupting the ground.
Can you tell me about a property case study where your methods produced great results?
Due to the sensitive nature of our work, most property owners would like to disclose as little as possible about contamination on their property even after it has been remediated. However, we can tell you that our products have been used in Cambridge, Massachusetts to remediate heating oil under a condo development that spread under a roadway and under adjoining building. The site was remediated in less than a year without disrupting the properties. It has also been used in the remediation of industrial contamination during condo development of the Channelside area in Tampa, Florida.
As well, the products have been used in numerous commercial properties, such as dry cleaning plants, gas stations, automotive repair and service shops, malls and shopping centres, and for redevelopment of brownfield properties.
As an owner, I am concerned about revealing publicly my property’s contamination. How does Mariner’s Choice protect my privacy throughout the process?
We would hold the information in strictest confidence, and would never release information without first obtaining approval.
Sounds almost too good to be true. Are there any negative side effects or disadvantages to using your products?
No, there are none. Frankly, overcoming the skepticism of “sounds too good to be true” is our biggest challenge. However, we know that the industry is leaning more and more towards bioremediation for many environmental reasons.
The products provide the owners the ability to regain property value, mitigate any health hazards, avoid legal actions from tenants and neighbours, potential fines by the Ministry of Environment, and ensure long-term tenant occupancy.
By consistently delivering cost efficiency and effective results, we will quickly overcome the skepticism.