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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
It’s never good when your business premises are reduced to ash in a raging inferno. But this was just the scenario faced by one of our clients, when their car showr0om and repair workshop has burnt down overnight.
We were on hand the next day, working closely with both the fire brigade and the demolition crew. We were able to obtain the vital geotechnical data necessary to allow design for the new buildings to progress.
Here you can see our Terrier rig taking soil samples and completing in situ standard penetration tests and dynamic probes to depths of up to 15m.
Now the flames have died out, the demolition has been completed and the new structure has been designed. Our client is well on the way to be back in business.
As the rest of the world turns it attention to Hollywood and the Oscars, we’ve been focused on the only marginally less high-profile What House Awards. One of our clients, Q Developments, picked up two awards, one of which was for their development of a former filling station site in Teddington. We’re very proud to be able to say that we played our part in this project for Q Developments, having undertaken the decommissioning and removing the former petroleum installation and the treatment of hydrocarbon and asbestos-related soil contamination prior to the site’s residential redevelopment. Our congratulations to Q Developments on their award.
We are used to dealing with potential contaminants from a wide range of industrial sources. Our specialist risk assessment department employs a number of modelling techniques to determine what potential long-term risks could be posed to human health or environmental receptors. But in a slight change to the norm, we’ve recently completed a risk assessment to determine the potential risks posed by a lack of human health!
We were commissioned to assess the suitability of a plot of land for a potential future cemetery. A combination of desk-based research, borehole investigations using our Terrier drill rig and fascinating (!) mass flux/fate transport calculations were used to complete the assessment following Environment Agency guidance.
If you’d like to commission a quantitative risk assessment – either for the living or the dead – then we’d be delighted to assist you. Please contact our risk assessment team for more information.