OK, so when someone says they’ve been skimming, it’s not usually a good thing. However, when it’s skimming fuel from a monitoring well on petrol station, that’s definitely beneficial.
We identified the fuel during a site audit, carried out in response to complaints about petrol odours in off-site (BT and Thames Water) service ducts. Contaminants often track/migrate through ducting and service trenches, leading away from the original source. In this case, our detective work was able to trace the source of the odours back to a fuel leak from the nearby filling station.
Our UKAS accreditted laboratory carried out forensic analysis of the recovered fuel in order to determine it’s age and composition, allowing us to further focus future infrastructure and ground investigation efforts on possible sources of the leak from the filling station.
Being able to seemlessly integrate both site investigation and laboratory testing in this way resulted in significant time and cost savings for our client.
If you’d like to know more about our unique approach to assesment of contaminated land, please contact James Edley.
Sometimes it’s easy to spot where contamination is on a site but all too often it lurks hidden beneath the surface. Fortunately we have a wide array of tools for finding the contamination without blowing the budget or digging up the whole site.
We’ve been working at a development site recently where the client knew there might be abandoned underground storage tanks present, but had no idea where they might be. Using ground probing radar (GPR) we were able to accurately locate the tanks. We then drilled boreholes around the tanks and analysed soil samples in our in house UKAS accredited laboratory, to confirm that the tanks had not contaminated the surrounding ground. This integrated approach, using GPR to focus the subsequent intrusive investigation resulted in a considerable cost saving for our client as well as minimising disruption to the site. If you’d like to discuss your site investigation requirements with us please contact James Edley or Steven Partridge.
We’ve recently been working on the prestigious Moor Park Estate, decommissioning a disused filling station in readiness for the site’s redevelopment with housing. The filling station closed over twenty years ago and all that was left were a few dilapidated lock up garages and rat infested undergrowth. In the past few weeks we have safely decommissioned and removed eight underground fuel storage tanks together with associated fuel pipework. Our in house laboratory has also tested soil samples from around the excavations and across the site, allowing us to confirm that we have successfully removed any contaminated soil associated with the site’s former use. In the next week we will be handing the site back to the client for the next stage in its development.
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.
Autumn seems to have arrived with a vengeance. Grey, wet and windy seems to be the order of the day here in the UK. But not for one of our Consultants, who has been spending his time in Haifa, Israel, carrying out an independent review of Israel’s largest remediation project.
We were called in by the Israeli NGO to review a complex remediation project to clean up the historically polluted Kishon River. Silt and sediment dredged from the river is being treated to remove contaminants that have accumulated over decades as a result of effluent discharges from the heavy industries lining the river bank. The treated soil will eventually be used to create a nature reserve and public park. The remediation processes include water treatment using nitrification/denitrification and soil treatment using biopiling and winrows. Soil and water samples are analysed in a sophisticated on site laboratory, allowing progress to be accurately monitored.
We were able to apply our expertise in both remediation and laboratory operations to provide the client with a number of suggested improvements to the project. Getting a sun tan didn’t hurt either!
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.
Friday 12th June was a red letter day here at Subadra. For a little while now we’ve had a mysterious large box sat in a room on its own in our laboratory. As the weeks have passed, we’ve seen cables, pipes and tubes connected, forced ventilation and cooling added and finally an argon supply plumbed in. Then finally all was revealed as our new ICP was commissioned.
For those not familiar with laboratory acronyms, ICP stands for Inductively Coupled Plasma Instrument. We’ll be using this to analyse soil and water samples for metals. In addition it will be playing a key part in ensuring we continue to offer the fastest waste classification service (or WAC as its known) in the UK.
Actually, there is nothing mythical about Subadra being commissioned to install shallow monitoring wells at the Daedalus Airfield Development! We constructed several shallow wells over the course of two days using our Hollow Stem Auger drilling system.
Lee-on-Solent is known for its sand and a dense gravels which are more or less guaranteed to make drilling difficult. So to avoid this we used our powerful Comacchio drilling rig which ensure we reached the target depth at all the drilling locations with minimal disruption to the site. We then installed 50mm diameter wells to allow future groundwater sampling. All our materials were sourced locally to enable us to take the minimum of equipment and vehicles thus reducing our carbon footprint for the works.
We even had time to the collect soil samples for the Principal Contractor and get them
analysed for WAC by our in house lab facility. As a result of our prompt and efficient service the client retained us to carry out a more detailed geotechnical investigation at the site. No myth there then!
One of the things we like about our business is the sheer variety of enquiries that we receive. We’ve been to some fairly strange places and asked to do some fairly odd things, but when we were asked to carry out soil testing at a snail farm it was a first for us.
Unknown to us Aylesbury Escargots, the UK’s largest producer of Helix Aspersa/Gros Gris – otherwise known as edible snails – , is located just down the road from our offices. They have pioneered a ‘farm-to-fork’ approach to snail farming and now produce over 5 tonnes per year. We reckon their snails are more than a match for anything produced in the traditional French centre of escargot farming in Burgundy.
Now, if only we could make better wine than Burgundy as well…..
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.