We’ve recently started the first phase of our latest remediation project: the redevelopment of a former petrol station site located in a highly environmentally sensitive location.
Stage one of our work comprised identifying and removing the source of the contamination. As you can see, we are pretty confident that we found the root-cause , although we have to wonder how the former site operator didn’t know something was wrong with this tank.
We’re currently working to design and integrate our groundwater treatment system with the construction work to ensure that there are no delays to the redevelopment.
Remediation is always challenging, but it’s made much harder when we are asked to do it at a busy filling station which needed to remain open throughout our works. Having previously determined that the contamination was confined to a relatively thin layer of gravel but was migrating offsite, we decided to install some small diameter sumps across the site in preparation for a programme of ISCO (treatment using in situ chemical oxidation).
Fitting the sumps between buried services was always going to be tricky, so we pre-excavated each location using vacuum drilling techniques. As you can see from the photographs, it was a good job that we did, with numerous pipes and ducts exposed (and duly avoided).
The excavation has now been backfilled and the pavement reinstated, leaving us with a small manhole cover to provide access to our sump when we return to start treating the ground. The filling station remained open throughout our works.
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
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.
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.
No-one can say that our workload isn’t varied. Last week one of our drilling crews completed the following schedule:
Monday – Geotechnical investigation including U100 sampling and SPT testing with our Terrier drill rig;
Tuesday – Water well installation using rotary rock roller with our Commachio 205;
Wednesday – Environmental investigation at a filling station using hollow stem augering, again with our Comacchio 205, while a new canopy was being installed;
Thursday and Friday – Deep water well installation using down the hole hammer to penetrate into a limestone aquifer.
We love a bit of variety in life and this week has proved it so. Time for a rest…….next week looks busy………
Ok, that claim may be stretching things a little, but our forensic analysis team have recently notched up a few notable successes. We were awarded a contract to treat petrol and diesel contamination in the soil and groundwater under a filling station. The site had a history of leaks, the most recent of which was six years ago. Since then one of our competitors had been trying (and failing) to clean the site up.
We were brought in to deal with the contamination once and for all. The first thing we did was to carry out some forensic analysis of the contamination using proprietary methods we have developed over the last 20 years. Our analysis indicated that there was an ongoing leak at the site, and was even able to pinpoint where on the site it was likely to be.
Our client commissioned precision tank and line testing which confirmed a slow leak under pump island 7 – just where we had predicted. The rate of leak – 0.29litres/hour – was actually below the precision testing threshold, meaning that the fuel lines passed the test and were certified as ‘not leaking’. However, this rate of leak would result in around 2,500litres of fuel entering the ground under the site each year – more than enough to cause serious contamination.
So the lessons learnt? Firstly, tank and line testing is very far from foolproof and fails to identify leaks that can cause serious environmental issues. Secondly, the timely use of forensic analysis can prevent significant time and money being wasted on ineffective remediation work.
Have you ever wondered what is below your feet when you’re filling up at a petrol station? Big old tanks, that’s what! We’ve investigated the ground at more filling stations in the UK than anyone else and so, not surprisingly, we have a have a pretty detailed understanding of how they are put together. This sort of experience is invaluable when
it comes to assessing potential environmental risk – we know how and where problems
Obviously owning our own specialist drilling systems, UKAS and MCerts accedited
laboratory and remediation equipment also has benefits, both in terms of cost and speed of turnaround.
For pragmatic advice and cost effective assessment strategies for the assessment
of filling station sites please contact James Skinner on 07770 611554.
We’ve recently completed construction of a water well to supply a popular car wash facility in the Swindon area.
Working closely with the main contractor, our careful pre-planning enabled us to install a 40m deep water well in challenging geological conditions, requiring 25m of retrievable casing to be used, all without affecting the site’s redevelopment programme.
On-going site contamination issues dictated that the borehole construction had to be professionally approved and tested before use. But the results of the post-development pump testing confirmed the well would supply a clean water yield in excess of the client’s requirements.
The savings in water supply costs for our client equates to a significant increase in their future profits. What difference would a free supply of 20,000 litres of water a day make to your business?