Subadra partner with River Thame Conservation Trust

River Thame Wetlands

River Thame Conservation Trust and Freshwater Habitats Trust, along with their partners Waddesdon Estate and the Environment Agency, are creating an exciting wetland mosaic on the floodplain of the River Thame, close to our offices in Stoke Mandeville.

They contacted us to ask for our help drilling boreholes and installing groundwater monitoring wells to investigate the underlying geology and hydrogeology of the site. After hearing about the positive impact that the project will have on the local wildlife, we offered to provide a drill crew for the day free of charge.

We know that worthwhile projects like these rely on the goodwill of local people and organisations to make them happen and we’re really happy to have been able to play our part. Despite the hailstones and mud (really, lots and lots of mud – they don’t call them wetlands for nothing) everyone had a worthwhile and fun day.

We look forward to visiting the new wetland when it’s been completed ….but perhaps we will wait until the weather has improved.

Posted in Environmental, Other | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SUDS (but no soap opera)

The sewage system in the UK is under increasing demands from the increase in rainfall volume and intensity associated with global warming and from the demand of new housing developments.
These pressures required a change in policy approach to a more sustainable system. On 6th April 2015 the government introduced a new planning policy  aiming to lessen the likelihood and impact of surface water flooding from new developments of 10 dwellings or more; or equivalent non-residential or mixed development, by encouraging the use of sustainable drainage systems (SUDS).
Soakaways and permeable paving are two types of SUDS which are used to limit the impact of surface water discharge from new building developments. Designing these systems requires careful measurement of soil permeability. We offer a comprehensive range of testing methods compliant with NHBC (Chapter 5.3) and BRE (Document 365) guidance.

For further information please contact Steve Partridge – 01296 739413

Posted in Construction, Environmental, Geotechnical | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Environment Agency RTM

Every environmental consultant involved in assessing the risk to controlled waters will be familiar with the Environment Agency’s preferred assessment tool, Remedial Targets Methodology Worksheet or RTM for short.

It’s always been our opinion that you would have to try hard to design a less user-friendly piece of software. It is, frankly, a stinker. You might say that we shouldn’t complain since it is provided by the Environment Agency free of charge. But we believe that we can, and should, do better. So we have taken the methodology/models used in RTM and we have built them into a modern, user-friendly application. Key improvements include

– Input parameters read/calculated directly from the project database;

– Runs parametric/sensitivity studies for each model;

– Assesses variation in receptor concentration v time for each model for multiple contaminants;

– Assesses variation in receptor concentration v distance from site for steady state conditions for multiple contaminants;

– Automatically exports results to individual spreadsheets for each contaminant and each set of parameters;

– Automatically creates a detailed pdf report for each model.

If you’d like a copy of our Remedial Targets Methodology software then contact Duncan Eastland.

Posted in Other | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Something is stirring deep in the Cotswolds….

It may not be quite as lucrative as hitting black gold, but it’s still mighty satisfying to ‘strike’ water as we successfully carry out another water well installation for a private client.

Our Comacchio rig drilled through nearly 40m of clay and limestone in around 4 hours before reaching a productive aquifer. Once we’ve finished installing the well casing and pump, the high quality water it produces will be used to supply an ‘eco-house’ being constructed on the site.

If you are interested in having your own water well installed then please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431 – for more information.

Posted on by admin | Leave a comment

We Want You

Following on from our best year in a decade and with a burgeoning portfolio of future orders, we are looking to recruit. We’d love to hear from anyone (well, anyone except recruitment agencies) that would like to join us. Specifically, we would like to hear from you if you fit the following:

Staff Consultant – You will probably have 3-5 years experience working in the geotechnical or environmental consultancy sector and will be looking to broaden your experience and take on more responsibility. You will relish a flexible working environment and will want to work for an organisation where you efforts are recognised and rewarded.

Graduate Consultant – You will have a degree in Earth Sciences or similar and be looking to apply your knowledge in a highly practical, pragmatic consultancy environment.

Lead Driller/Second Man – We are looking for either a lead driller or a second man to work with our Comacchio rotary drill rigs. You will have an NVQ in Land Drilling plus a minimum of 3 years relevant experience (Lead Driller role).

All the positions are based at our Stoke Mandeville office but will involve working away from base from time to time. For further information, please email your CV together with a covering letter to Duncan Eastland.

Note to Agencies: It is our company policy to not use recruitment agents. You do not have our permission to re-advertise these roles and you should not contact us offering your services.

Posted in Construction, Environmental, Geotechnical | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rapid ‘CBR’ Testing

Clegg Impact Hammer

Let’s face it, sometimes you just need CBR results fast. Really fast. Maybe you need to identify any soft spots in a piling mat or in a road sub-base before the compaction plant leaves site. Or – be honest – maybe you just forgot to get the required testing done in time. Either way, we have a solution for you. We can test your sub-base using our Clegg Impact Hammer, typically completing 80+ tests in a day with results available immediately. Although the CBR value measurements aren’t as accurate as those obtained from a conventional test, we reckon they are acceptable for about 90% of the enquiries we receive.

For further information please contact Steven Partridge – 01296 739413

Posted in Construction, Geotechnical, Other | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Safe is Safe?

Well, in our case the answer is very safe indeed. We’ve just completed our annual HSE audit, carried out by an independent auditor on our clients’ behalf, and scored a record 93%.

The auditors praised PrismERP, the IT system we have developed over the last decade for both managing HSE and integrating it into every aspect of our operations. With further upgrades to PrismERP planned for the coming year, we are determined to get an even higher score next time round.

PrismERP is commercially available. If you’d like to know more about how it might help your organisation please contact Duncan Eastland.

Posted in Construction, Environmental, Geotechnical, Laboratory, Other | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Airplanes Stopped Play

Another post discussing the joys of working at a busy airport. This time we were asked to advise on the allowable bearing capacity for a foundation to be installed at 2m depth, without either excavating a trial pit of drilling a borehole.

We opted to carry out a series of dynamic probes, using our lightweight terrier drill rig, along the line of excavation, using the data to calculate an equivalent SPT ‘N’value and thence an allowable bearing capacity. We were able to provide our client with results in real time, ensuuring there were no delays to the construction programme.

Posted in Construction, Geotechnical | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Did You Do Last Night?

Night Working

Maybe we are cynical but we usually reckon we can rely on the weather to be cold and raining, or even snowing, anytime we are asked to carry out sitework at night. So it made a pleasant change to find ourselves at the end of Runway 27R at Heathrow on a warm summer’s night last week. As a Heathrow Approved Contractor we’d been asked to carry out some urgent groundwater assessment work and because our staff and vehicles hold ‘access all areas’ passes for Heathrow, we were able to be on site quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

For more information regarding our site investigation and remediation capabilities at airports, please contact James Skinner – 01296 739411

Posted in Environmental, Geotechnical | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tesco Fined £8 million for Leak from Filling Station

Langwood Brook

The latest prosecution by the Environment Agency of a filling station operator has resulted in a record fine of £8 million. The Environment Agency’s investigation found the leak resulted from the operator’s failure to address a known issue with the fuel delivery system and an inadequate alarm system. It was compounded by “poor” emergency procedures. The leak affected local residents and local watercourses, with leaked fuel entering the Langwood Brook resulting in fish kill. County councillor Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The fact the leak was allowed to continue for more than 24 hours undoubtedly contributed to a risk of harm to people living and working nearby, as well as emergency services attending the incident.”

We believe that this case marks a change in approach from the Environment Agency, with a focus on prosecution under health and safety legislation rather than the available environmental regulations. The resulting fine of £8 million was significantly higher than fines levied for similar incidents prosecuted for polluting controlled waters.

Further details can be found here.

Posted in Environmental | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment