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


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

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.

Tight Access for Investigation

TerrierWe have recently completed an incident response investigation of a domestic heating oil installation located at the centre of a residential accommodation block complex in southern England. The site overlies chalk and is located just 100m from a public drinking water supply borehole.

Following complaints of possible oil contamination issues from the residents we took samples of the underlying soils and audited the fuel installation. With only footpaths leading to the tank installation we used our Terrier drilling system – which can fit through a standard doorway – to install boreholes either side of the oil tank and take soil samples for rapid analysis in our UKAS laboratory. Fortunately no significant soil contamination had occurred and our recommended improvements to the installation are now underway. The entire project, from initial enquiry instruction to report issue, was completed in under 4 days.

Project value ~£2k. Client value £££

Water, Water Everywhere

Treatment System in Operation

We are currently assisting in the treatment of construction wastewater from a filling station redevelopment in Dorset. Working with the primary works contractor, we provided a system that is capable of pumping and treating high volumes of hydrocarbon-contaminated water from deep excavations.

Our in house designed, modular treatment plant was efficiently dealt with two both suspended solids and hydrocarbon contamination, ensuring all the effluent met the site’s discharge licence conditions.

We installed and tested the system at an early stage of the works allowing us to collect and analyse samples in our UKAS accredited laboratory and use this information to assist in obtaining a temporary discharge license from the local sewerage undertaker. This meant the
contractor was able to discharge effluent direct to the foul sewer.

With the high costs and project delays associated with tankering hydrocarbon-contaminated wastewater from site our fully mobile and modular dewatering systems are a simple and cost effective way of dealing with dewatering effluent.

Project value: less than £10k

Subadra Go Bananas

Replacement Pipework

We certainly get to work at a wide variety of different sites, but a call from a major banana distributor was a first even for us. The underground pipework carrying fuel to supply their trucks had failed and required urgent replacement. At short notice we were on site replacing the corroded steel pipework with modern plastic equivalents. We sampled the soil around the failed pipework and our in-house laboratory was able to confirm within 24 hours that no significant ground contamination had occurred. Within 36 hours the fuel supply system was back in commission and the banana trucks had started rolling again.