In this Issue:
The Warewithal: Simon Ware's regular update
Case Studies: Pilots essential for flying through remediation and difficulties in a tidal environment
Staff News: Tom Clarke on settling in
Welcome to our Spring/Summer issue of our regular newsletter keeping you informed of recent developments in the Geo-Environmental market.
It has been a lively few months here at WDE, with the addition of 2 new members of staff (a graduate Tom Clarke and Jo Morran to strengthen our administration support). We have also recently completed our annual ISO audits for 9001 Quality and 18001 Health & Safety. The most significant outcome of the audit are the changes to our business practice following the issue of CDMR2015. This requires the Principal Designer (which will often be the client) to provide all the necessary health & safety information, such as underground utility plans, asbestos surveys etc before we go on site. The benefit should be that it will provide clarity as to who is responsible for what.
Our case studies in this Newsletter highlight the benefits of a pilot study prior to full scale remedial works of a former gas works and the difficulties when working in a tidal environment on a site in Southampton.
There has been movement towards Local Authorities forming a register of brownfield land that can be redeveloped. The Housing and Planning Bill has recently been reviewed by the House of Lords, who rejected an amendment for brownfield to be given permission in principle in favour of a less restrictive housing led amendment. Lets hope that more clarity is provided to encourage sustainable development.
WDE have recently been involved in a remedial pilot study for a former gas works site in the South East, as part of its proposed high density development scheme. The site is situated within a high risk area for groundwater vulnerability with an aquitard protecting the underlying principal aquifer. A reduction in DNAPL and LNAPL groundwater concentrations are required to allow deep piling to take place.
There were a number of unknowns regarding the effects of the in-situ treatment on the groundwater contaminant plume. WDE have been working closely with the Remedial Contractor throughout the pilot study to establish the best strategy to achieve success in the most timely and cost effective manner.
Without the information gained during the pilot, the remedial strategy may have had to be adjusted or remediation prolonged costing the client valuable time and money. Knowledge is power.
Turning the Tide
We recently undertook an investigation in Southampton using a Cable Percussion drill rig and were presented with some very challenging drilling conditions. The main issue was that the terrace sand and gravel deposits were under not one but two tidal influences, and so the sands and gravels were under almost constant flux. This led to the sandy material travelling back up the borehole casing by metres at a time; resulting in us having to drill 5 metres worth in order to progress 1 meter. We were on site for two weeks and the difficulties got worse under high tide. To combat this we actively targeted drilling at low tide (when the tidal effects were at its lowest) and used plenty of stubborn perseverance. This strategy meant that we were able to deliver solid results and help us turn the tide.
New Geo-Environmental Graduate Consultant Tom Clarke says "Two months in and I'm loving working for WDE, being part of such a friendly and energetic company is fantastic. I'm learning a huge amount working on the diverse range of projects WDE undertake and being able to get stuck in helping the team both out on site and in the office. I'm looking forward to the coming summer on site and being involved with future interesting and challenging projects".