The LIFE SEDREMED project, being an innovative experimentation project, requires rigorous monitoring activity to verify its results. LIFE SEDREMED field activities began in July 2022 with the first sampling of sediments (about 70 kg of material) in the two areas designated for experimentation. These seabed areas of Bagnoli have respectively a high and low level of pollution, which will allow us to verify the effectiveness of the technologies in both situations.
The sediments collected were sent to Belgium and Finland to the headquarters of Idrabel and Ekogrid. These two partners – technology suppliers of our project – will then be able to carry out the first tests in their laboratories. The third part of these sediments was sent to Università Politecnica delle Marche (Ancona, Italy)to start optimising the analytical systems for monitoring the organic pollutants present in the sediments to be treated. For the beginning of the new year, another sampling is planned for ISODETECT (Leipzig, Germany) and UNIVPM to further refine the methodology for monitoring the remediation results.
Still, with regard to monitoring, an advanced BACTRAP installation test was carried out at the beginning of November. This monitoring tool is provided by ISODETECT and will allow us to calculate the degradation of specific contaminants including those present in the Bagnoli sediments. First of all, BACTRAP will allow obtaining an indication of the level of the so-called “natural attenuation”, i.e. the natural capacity of the microbial organisms already present in the sediments to degrade the contaminants in the absence of human intervention.
This indication is crucial for subsequently calculating the impact of the remediation technologies that will be implemented. BACTRAP will also allow us to quantify and identify the microorganisms that are involved in the bioremediation process. The BACTRAPs will be collected by the end of January 2023 to verify its functionality and the anchoring system, it will be sent back to the ISODETECT headquarters for further setting and optimization of the monitoring system. BACTRAPs will later be reinstalled as technologies are implemented in the field in order to monitor their effectiveness.
In addition to the sediments, a sample of seawater was collected in the proximity of the seabed. The water was sent to ISODETECT for the purpose of conducting lab microcosm experiments. ISODETECT together with UNIVPM will, therefore, in addition to monitoring sediment contamination, also analyze seawater collected near the BACTRAPs.
The development of the monitoring system will allow the project partners to provide Invitalia (Bagnoli’s site manager) with a complete and innovative monitoring plan that will be potentially used for all the monitoring activities of the marine remediation interventions in Bagnoli.