Why Coring Isn’t Boring

Core Bit

It probably comes as no surprise that it takes a very different skillset and completely different equipment to core through rock as opposed to boring through the sand and clay soils that are more commen near the ground surface.

The correct core bit (i.e. the part of the drill string which cuts the rock) selection is the key to obtaining high quality quality core samples. Each rock type requires a specific core bit to cut it cleanly and efficiently. So, to achieve the best results, we carry a range of different core bits with us at all times. Our drilling crew recently used our T6 coring barrel to core to depths of 25m in a range of geology from conglomerates to slate and everything in between.

So, you might say that coring is not boring. Fact!

You Never Know….

Buried Services

…what lies beneath your feet. But when it comes to carrying out any form of ground investigation or excavation work, it’s imperative to find out whether there are any buried pipes or cables before you start work.

We provide consultants and contractors with the information they require, whether it’s a complete set of public utility drawings or a remote sensing survey using radio detection and ground probing radar.

For more information, please contact Angus Gale – 01296 739333

Where There’s Muck There’s Brass

Last week we undertook window sampling and installed monitoring wells at one of the largest recycling processing depots in the UK. Have you ever wondered what happens to your recycling after it gets taken away? Well it will likely end up at a processing centre similar to this one, where the waste is separated, segregated and prepared for recycling.
It was eye opening to see the scale of the operation. Usually when we drill, our rig is one of the bigger vehicles on site, but this time our van mounted Geoprobe was dwarfed by some of the other machines on site.

Heathrow Third Runway

Night Working at Heathrow

OK so we can’t say whether this will (or should) get the final go ahead from government. But what we can say with absolute confidence is that we have more experience of working airside at Heathrow than any other geo-environmental consultant.

We are the only consultant with permanent airside passes, both for our staff and our vehicles. We are also well versed in navigating our way through the airport’s complicated permiting system.

Just last week one of our investigation teams worked through the night to install several deep monitoring wells adjacent to one of the existing runways. The third runway will need thousands of similar geotechnical borehole drilling in the next few years. We believe that having an airside presence and an in depth knowledge of the geology gives us a head start when it comes to providing this service.

For more information please contact James Skinner – 01296 739411

 

The Good Old Days

We recently came across this advice in a 1960s ‘How To’ manual.

We think the Environment Agency might have something to say if anyone advised this now. But it is typical (albeit on a small scale) of many of the less enlightened environmental practices from earlier times.

This goes some way to explaining why so much of our brownfield land is contaminated in one way or another. With soil and groundwater clean-up costs increasing all the time, it also points up how foolish it is to buy brownfield land without first checking on its condition.

If you’d like to know more about our geo-environmental site investigation capabilities or if you have land that requires treatment, then please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431.

Cathodic Protection

Installing Cathodic Protection

Drilling large diameter boreholes at a brownfield site to install anodes for a cathodic protection system requires a rather eclectic combination of skills.

Working in a tight space, to a detailed specification, we achieved an anode installation through a complex sequence of geological strata. Clean drilling techniques required us to install an environmental seal through surficial gravels and 30m into underlying clay. We then extended the boreholes through 20m of Thanet sands and 10m of flinty chalk. To complete the anode installation we then tremmied sacrificial coke contact media into the borehole’s response zone with the remainder of the boreholes being grouted back to the surface with bentonite.

Our team consisted of drillers, environmental engineers, mud technicians and cathodic protection engineers, all working together on a busy site to ensure the client got the installation required whilst working within the Environment Agency guidelines.  The anodes will now ensure the pipelines are protected for the next 100 years.

If you’d like to know more or if you have an installation requiring cathodic protection be installed then please contact Angus Gale – 01296739433

What TLC Can Achieve

Terrier Drill Rig

Our Terrier drill rig, Tinky, recently celebrated its sixteenth birthday. In that time it has had 2 new head gaskets, 15 calibrations, 22 oil changes and services, 2 new tyres, 2 new tracks, 1 rebuilt mast frame, 1 new radiator , 1 new weight guard and a new fan. We know that good maintenance is the key to keeping any machine working and we like to think we’ve done our Terrier proud. It has certainly paid us back.

It may be sixteen years old but last week it still managed to dynamically sample 25m of weathered sandstone to 5m depth with SPT tests every metre plus completing an additional four dynamic probes to competent bedrock at 9.5m and installing four gas monitoring wells to 1.5m. All this in two days including a round trip mobilidsation of over 300 miles. Hats off to Tinky.

We are looking for dynamic sampling operatives. If you think you fit the bill then give Angus Gale a call on 01296 739400 or email your CV to Angus Gale.

Emergency Response – Filling Station

We were recently contacted following a spillage of several hundred litres of diesel by a customer at a filling station in Northamptonshire. The diesel had entered the site’s drainage system, which ultimately discharged into a nearby area of wetlands.

We were on-site and our spill-response trailer within two hours of receiving the first call. We liaised with site staff, the Fire Brigade, tanker service contractors and the Environment Agency and co-ordinated thesubsequent clean-up, preventing any of the fuel reaching the wetland.

We subsequently collected soil and groundwater samples which were analysed by our in-house UKAS and MCerts accreditted laboratory, with results reported back to our client within 24 hours.

For more information about the emergency response services we offer, please contact James Edley – Tel: 01296 739412

 

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.

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