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Olympic Remediation Legacy - Otters and Trees along the River Lea

When the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic competitors departed, they leave behind a new urban park—at more than 111 acres (45 ha), one of Europe’s largest.......

To ensure the environment sustainability of the London 2012 Games, one of the ODA’s goals was to reuse, repurpose, or recycle 90 percent of the soil and material at the site. Recovering contaminated soil for reuse was problematic, in part because of the carbon dioxide footprint trucks would have generated by hauling the soil from the area. Instead, a cut-and-fill strategy was deployed to use excavated materials in foundations beneath several sports venues. 

The remediation of the Olympic Park became the U.K.’s largest-ever soil washing operation. Over 2.6 million cubic yards (2 million cu m) of soil were excavated with around 80 percent of the cleaned soil reused in earthworks or recycled as fill material. Contaminated soil was treated using a variety of techniques, including bioremediation, soil washing, and chemical and geotechnical stabilization. Two "soil hospitals" were set up to test, process, and treat excavated contaminated soil for reuse, and five washing plants treated the soil for a range of contaminants.

When the enabling works were completed, the ODA’s ambitious target of reusing and recycling 90 percent of material from demolition was exceeded, with 98 percent of the materials reclaimed for recycling and reuse.

A new bioremediation technique was applied for the first time in the U.K. to treat ammonia-contaminated groundwater under Olympic Stadium. Archaeamicroorganisms that thrive in extreme conditions and that biologically degrade ammoniawere inserted into specific boreholes. As archaea "ate" ammonia, several other reagents, including oxygen-released compounds, were injected into other groundwater areas to remove contaminants.

At the same time as the soil was being remediated, over 1.9 miles 
(3 km) of rivers and canals weaving through the site were revitalized to create an urban park. In 2008, Atkins began a four-year project to help reengineer riverbanks. However, before riverbanks were re-created, flood risk had to be gauged through hydraulic modeling. A river lock, built in 2008 to improve navigation along the River Lea, caused tidal water levels to fluctuate by as much as 13.1 feet (4 m) twice a day. With modeling data, the new slope of the river banks was planned to include a wetland barrier and wet woodlands to help elevate the area—and 5,000 properties nearby—to a 100-year flood level.

Landscaping the restored banks presented challenges because plants had to stabilize the riverbanks, withstand tidal fluctuations, attract birds and wildlife, and bloom profusely for the 2012 Games. A 12-month trial planting was carried out along a 164-foot (50 m) wetland area. Various native species were planted using different bioengineered installation techniques at different elevations along the riverbanks. Trial results determined that grasses and sedges, yellow irises, and purple loosestrife fared well when planted in coir (coconut fiber matting) instead of directly in soil.

Nearly 380,000 individual plants were cultivated off site by Salix River & Wetland Services Ltd. at nurseries in Swansea, Wales, and Thetford, England. When planting began, 300 trucks—each with 1,000 pallets—arrived with detailed descriptions of where to install the plants. Planting the riverbanks was done via pontoon boats for greater control during the landscaping.

For the full article use the link below......

Urban Land

http://urbanland.uli.org/Articles/2012/Aug/ul/LassOlympic