Skip to main content.
Enviropaedia Sponsors and Supporters


( Article Type: Explanation )

Bio-remediation is the method of using living organisms as a means of cleaning up or removing pollution from soil or water. Usually, this is done using special types of micro-organisms, such as natural or bio-engineered bacteria, which convert the pollution or hazardous waste into harmless substances. For example, bioremediation is being used to treat contaminated groundwater where the water is pumped up from underground, treated with the micro-organisms, which remove the pollution at the surface, and then pumped back underground again. Another example is a new type of bacteria, which has been especially ‘bred’ to breakdown oil spills into harmless bio-products such as water, carbon, carbon dioxide and oxygen.

This is a new way of dealing with waste and pollution and will probably be developed more extensively in the future. Wetlands are a natural bio-remediation process, which filter out pollutants from water. Progress has been made in developing artificial wetlands, which have been used for cleaning up industrial pollutants as well as providing an alternative form of sewage treatment in remote areas.

Creative research and development is focussing on the ‘copying’ of nature’s clean-up systems and processes in order to develop efficient and effective pollution control and reduction methods.