Grounded Solutions

Summer 2019

In this Issue:

The Warewithal : New Staff and Brexit 

Focus: Pre-Acquisitional Assessment of Industrial Facility

Case Study : Feasibility of Deep Borehole Soakaway

Other News : Staff changes

The Warewithal

WDE have been fortunate over the years to have a number of regular clients who have provided repeat business and are proud that over 85% of revenue is generated from people we have worked with before. However, we would like to "spread the word" to others and Esther Ware is focusing her efforts on business development to generate opportunities with new clients. 

I try to follow Richard Branson's philosophy on staff retention which is to "train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to".  I am therefore pleased to welcome David Bryan and Eve White to the WDE team.  David is starting his career and is working his way through our graduate training programme whereas Eve has over 15 years experience in the contaminated land industry.  More details are provided in Other News sections below. 

I am sure I am not alone in being uncertain of how Brexit will affect business.  From what I have heard the demand for new homes remains strong so I hope that there is only a slight pause.  We have been working on some interesting sites recently, in particular a pre-acquisitional appraisal of a large industrial facility being considered for a mixed redevelopment scheme, which has known contamination issues (DNAPLs on a Principal Aquifer).  Further assessment work is required, but it is encouraging that the residential development market appears to remain strong.  

Focus: Pre-Acquisitional Assessment of Industrial Facility

At the beginning of this summer, WDE was asked to look at a site that a client wished to purchase for a proposed mixed use scheme.  It was being used for heavy engineering and there was a large amount of historical information available relating to previous investigations undertaken under Part 2A legislation.  Contamination plumes of Chlorinated Solvents and Hydrocarbons had been identified which were overlying a sensitive chalk aquifer but the site was ultimately not determined.  

WDE needed to reassess the site within the context of the planning regime and provide advice to our client as to the potential financial liability associated with contamination issues. Following a review of the information available, WDE recommended undertaking an additional investigation to provide a more informed assessment of the ground conditions.  Particular attention was spent on investigating potential areas of concern so that the dimensions of contamination plumes could be determined with more certainty. Having produced a Factual and Interpretative Report on the site, WDE approached a remedial contractor to provide a budget price for the remedial works.

Knowing the costs and potential liabilities upfront is critical for developers when considering the feasibility of a redevelopment project and it would appear that this project will be financially viable.  We are looking forward to working on this site in the future to facilitate its new chapter.

Tom Clarke (Senior Consultant)
Case Study: Feasibility Assessment for Deep Borehole Soakaway

WDE were asked to assess the feasibility for deep borehole soakaways at a residential development site.  Previous investigations had identified there to be shallow impermeable clay deposits to 6m depth overlying more permeable chalk.  Instead of investigating the feasibility via a deep borehole and then installing a deep borehole soakaway, it was decided to combine the investigation with the installation for the deep borehole soakaway to save the client money.  

A borehole was drilled using cable percussive techniques to test the strength of the chalk and assess if there was any risk of dissolution features, and also to install a 150mm diameter borehole soakaway to a depth of 11m.  The soakaway was then tested via a falling head test and proved it provided adequate drainage for the proposed properties.

David Hastings (Senior Consultant)

Other News

Our new graduate consultant David Bryan has started on our training programme and has the following comments to make:  "Really enjoyed my first month at WDE, been great getting to know the team, especially when we went for a curry!  So far we've had 37 degree heat followed by torrential rain but I've thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Looking forward to progressing with the training and more exciting fieldwork opportunities."

Eve White has recently joined us and is going to be focusing on projects within the construction market.  She has over 15 year experience and has a wealth of experience in the contamination industry, especially with the management of construction waste, asbestos and health and safety.  As you can see from the photo, she has been busy reconnecting with her existing industry contacts. 

Esther Ware is looking after business development and generating opportunities with new clients. Feel free to give her a call if you would like to arrange a meeting (07748 652987).

WDE has supported three summer students from Tring school with their week long work placements.  Hopefully we have persuaded at least one of them to consider a career in an Applied Science! 

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