One obstacle to their re-use is the uncertainty over how blighted the land is, and stakeholders such as local government agencies, industrial owners and developers often hesitate to check this, as current testing methods are time-consuming, inconclusive and expensive.
The UK, Irish, Portuguese and Swedish partners in the EUREKA project E! 2678 SS TESTER have developed a unique, hi-tech, low-cost instrument that can provide prospective buyers with an inexpensive, diagnostic tool for the rapid screening of soils. This will facilitate the clean up and re-use of such land, which will bring viable businesses into a community and increase employment opportunities.
"The prototype SST (Safe Soil Tester) is a robust, portable instrument that employs bioluminescent bacteria for the detection of toxic contamination," explains Ed Bell, MD of the UK lead partner, Crown Bio Systems. "It is easy to use, can test soil and sediment, and is ideal for rapid screening of land for pollutants providing instant results saving lab time and costs."
The tester harnesses the Eignos navigation system, and in future will use the new Galileo navigation system just launched by the European Space Agency to integrate highly accurate satellite positioning data with the real?time results. Not only does this provide essential georeferencing data to create an auditable trail, but it can also be integrated with GIS (geographic information system) data.