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Addressing groundwater, surface water and soil contamination on large (former) industrial sites


In Europe, large areas and regions with a high density of industry (e.g. sea ports, large scale chemical industry complexes, metal mining areas, military complexes) suffer from subsurface contamination. At these areas, which are referred to as megasites, soil, surface water and groundwater are usually polluted with a mix of a wide variety of pollutants. For megasites, redevelopment combined with a comprehensive remediation is often impossible on short terms. Remediation costs are high, thus obstructing an economically balanced redevelopment program. On the other hand, severe contamination in soil, surface water and groundwater can be hazardous for humans and ecosystems and limit free use of resources like surface water, groundwater and land.

Welcome is an acronym of Water, Environment and Landscape management at COntaminated MEgasites. The goal of the WELCOME-project was to make an Integrated Management Strategy (IMS) for Prevention and Reduction of risks at Contaminated Industrial Megasites. This IMS is a stepwise approach that takes the present situation as a starting point. A risk assessment that takes the soil-water system and the technical and economic feasilibity of the remediation actions into account, form the core of this methodology.

The WELCOME-project was funded by the European Union (FP5, EESD, EVK1-CT-2001-00103) and executed from January 2002 until December 2004. The result is an Integrated Management Strategy for Megasites (IMS). The IMS used to be available on the website euwelcome.eu, but has in 2013 been transferred to this location due to technical and support-reasons. The reason that the IMS is still 'alive' is because many of its subjects are still actual and usefull. Some of the features of the former website has been removed, because they were outdated. This website presents the following subjects:

  • basic strategies of the IMS,
  • a manual for technical experts and environmental managers and
  • examples of the implementation of the IMS at the Welcome megasite cases
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