Tailings ponds, lakes that hold the toxic by-products of oil sands mining, cover an area of 176 square kilometers in Alberta and contain enough liquid to fill 390,000 Olympic-sized pools. Tailings ponds are extremely detrimental to the environment and pose challenges for improving extraction processes used by oil and mining industries. If left untreated, tailings ponds have the potential to pollute water sources, damage ecosystems, eliminate biodiversity and kill a variety of living organisms. An example of tailings ponds pollution includes harmful ions such as lead and mercury which affect the environment.The removal of heavy metals in tailings ponds as well as wastewater is appealing yet challenging. In addition to benefiting the environment, the extraction of these metals creates value out of what would otherwise be waste.