What is a LTU?
LTU or Land Treatment Units are basically locations wherein the land is treated to reduce its toxic contents. Typically hazardous wastes are dumped and incorporated in these land areas to degrade over a period of time.
The typical process involved in handling bio-hazard wastes is called bioremediation. This process involves the removal of polluting factors through the metabolic activities of microorganisms. This particular process may occur naturally through internal processes involving the microorganisms. Or the process may be generated and/or modified through the addition of certain chemicals and fertilizers. With these additional fertilizers, the natural activity of microorganisms present in the soil may be enhanced resulting to improved ability in degrading or breaking down of pollutants and hazardous wastes.
But aside from the microbes already present in the soil, the energy from the sun also plays a big part in LTUs or land treatment units. Since most of the hazardous wastes are mixed with the soil in the upper layers, much of it will also be exposed to sunlight. The natural rays of the sun will then help the natural processes involving the microbes in transforming and or immobilizing the hazardous components. Because of the sun and the naturally occurring microbes in the soil, natural physical, biological, and chemical processes of waste degradation can start and progress.
The whole process and effectiveness of land treatment units are monitored in terms of adequately treating the hazardous materials incorporated in the soil. If the process isn’t successful, there are various other techniques in the proper disposal of hazardous wastes. A typical and common example is a landfill which is applicable to non-liquid biohazards. The hazardous materials involved are put deep below an excavated part of land and typically covered to avoid further spread or contamination to the environment. Other alternatives are surface impoundments, injection wells, waste piles, underground mines and caves.