Horizontal Wells Used Polution Remediation in S. Korea Redevelopment


Horizontal wells have been installed to remediate ground water pollution problems, in a landmark redevelopment construction project in Seoul, South Korea begun earlier this year.

The 140 acre site is being developed as an international  business park, high density housing center, retail center, educational facility and open space in Seoul’s downtown near the Han River. The project is known as Dream Hub and will ultimately cost over 40 billion dollars to complete.

The site was once the home to Korea’s main railroad service foundry and repair yard and has a high level of pollution and toxic waste in the soil and ground water as a result. The Korea Rail facility was in operation for over 100 years. Remediation of the site has not been attempted before.

The horizontal wells in this case will be used to collect contaminated water and vapor that is trapped in the soil as a result of the rail yard processes. Directional drilling of horizontal wells has many other applications beyond pollution remediation. A wide variety of other industrial and commercial applications call for wells and drilling that is not vertical since they are able to reach and reclaim areas that were previously inaccessible via traditional drilling methods.

In order to remediate the ground water pollution, the six horizontal wells were installed in record time. The wells consist of over 1,100 meters of pipe buried an average of 4.5 meters deep in trenches that will accumulate the toxic waters. The trenches have a 4 inch perforated pipe at the bottom and are then back filled and connected to high vacuum pumps that will rid the site of the polluted water and vapors making it safe for workers who will do the excavation prior to beginning construction. The wells will also remain in place after the site is developed.

The massive project will have what will be the highest building in Asia when it is complete. The skyscraper and 34 million square foot center will sit on top of the horizontal wells that will continue to keep the site clean. The horizontal wells were built by a joint partnership between an American company who did the design and consultation and Korean subcontractors who carried out the installation. The horizontal wells were finished in only one week which is notable considering that the country was experiencing one of the coldest winters on record at the time, as well.

This project is one of the first endeavors of its kind in ground water remediation using horizontal wells in Korea, yet it should open the door to future horizontal remediation well projects throughout Asia and the rest of the world enabling the reclamation of land previously thought unusable.

Besides being the first site for these kinds of horizontal wells for toxic remediation, the redevelopment project will have another first: A twin tower residential skyscraper with towers that are connected together at the midpoint. The connected area will have gardens, amenities, shops and open space and is a unique architectural feature in twin tower construction. This structure is expected to be complete by 2015.

Photo of Seoul by Mikhail Kim.

  6 comments for “Horizontal Wells Used Polution Remediation in S. Korea Redevelopment

  1. March 11, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I didn’t know horizontal drilling could be so beneficial! It’s great that it can be used to remove pollutants and contaminated water from the soil. It’s always important to work on fixing the environment, and horizontal drilling is a great way to do it! Plus, as you said, horizontal drilling can reclaim areas that were previously inaccessible. Thanks for the informative article!

  2. June 30, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Hi Buddy,

    I have read your post and found it helpful in soil remediation process. But I have never used Directional drilling of horizontal wells, i will surely try this.

    Keep sharing!!

  3. July 8, 2016 at 5:35 am

    Wow, great post. This is so useful to those who are trying to find ways to better benefit the environment and get a move on the remediation. Thanks for all of the information you provided, especially on the benefits of directional drilling. After reading, it makes a lot of sense. Thanks so much for sharing such important knowledge!

  4. December 9, 2016 at 6:07 am

    This is really interesting. It’s great they were able to protect the environment around them while developing the land. It’s so important to take care of the earth. Thanks for sharing!

  5. April 19, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I think it is a great thing to install!

  6. June 29, 2017 at 5:59 am

    It’s amazing how quickly they were able to implement these new wells. Hopefully this will mean better water quality and fewer health problems for South Korean people. Thanks for sharing!

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