Phase 3 Site Investigation – Remediation

Remediation is the act of rendering a site ‘fit for purpose’ under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). In its broadest definition, it’s taking previously developed land and making it suitable for redevelopment, in its many forms. The term remediation covers many activities and even more solutions and is generally only applicable in land development projects.
Here at GeoCon we specialise in a variety of remediation related services, but mainly that of chemical contaminants from site related sources or more what is more generally known as “contaminated land”.

Contamination remediation can range from the very basic: complying with the BRE cover system approach, to the more complicated, such as bioremediation; and can be achieved in a day or over several years depending on the size of the site and the approach adopted. We have a wealth of experience of remediation design, management and supervision; all the skills needed to support a project through the remediation process. Taking the findings of a site investigation GeoCon will consider the options available to break the pollutant linkages associated with a site and formulate a remediation strategy to achieve that requirement. Not only that but with our links throughout the sector we can advise on suitable remediation contactors, many of whom we have first hand experience of working with.

Not as extensive as remediation of contaminated soils, but just as important, is that of the remediation of contaminated controlled waters, either groundwater or surface waters. With the contamination of controlled waters being, by its very nature mobile, this poses a different approach to contaminated soil remediation. Again, our depth and breadth of experience puts GeoCon in an ideal place to design and manage remediation projects for controlled waters.

The final aspect of contaminated land associated remediation that we at GeoCon carry out is that of remediation of hazardous ground gases. Whilst we can advise on the building protection measures, we are not design engineers so it is important to appreciate we cannot design gas related building protection measures. Rather, in this scenario, we can advise on external gas control measures, such as: passive and active land venting systems; barriers and trenches; and active and passive gas collection systems.
Remediation of contaminated soils and controlled waters along with hazardous ground gas remediation would be handled here at GeoCon by our team of environmental consultants.

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    Remediation for Geotechnical Projects.

    In former coal mining areas remediation of historical mineshaft, adits and bell pits is just as prolific as contamination land remediation. As with land contamination, the majority of sites can be remediated by a “traditional” solution, in this case, a programme of drilling and grouting. However, our expertise would allow us to determine if this is the most appropriate solution and if not, offer alternatives.

    Shallow coal workings can also pose a risk to a development site, either directly or indirectly through vertical migration of the voids created by coal workings, similar to adits and bell pits in near surface workings. Remediation of this sort of problem can be achieved with the tradition drilling and grouting, or by other ground improvement techniques.

    Ground improvement techniques are also used in the remediation of geotechnically poor ground conditions. There are circumstances where the more commonly used foundation solutions are not cost-effective and the ground itself can be remediated geotechnically to allow a foundation solution to be applied.

    The design and management of coal mining remediation and alternative ground improvement techniques are handled by our geotechnical team.

    We have the capability to:

    • support the remediation strategy through the planning process
    • agreeing key targets
    • providing a range of on-site management services, from a simple watching brief to full time site attendance for the more complicated or location sensitive remedial works
    • monitoring procedure and protocols
    • information management, and
    • attendance at project meetings.

    Not only do we have the technical ability to support and managed remediation projects, but we also have the commercial awareness to understand cost is also a factor in remediating a site and whatever remediation strategy is adopted must also be commercially viable within the remit of the development project.

     

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    Phase 4 Site Investigation – Validation

    Whilst remediation is the act of rendering a site ‘fit for purpose’ under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), validation is the process by which the evidence is gathered and presented to verify that the proposed and agreed upon remediation strategy has been carried out. Here at GeoCon we specialise in a variety of validation related services, but mainly that of chemical contaminants from site related sources or more what is more generally known as “contaminated land”.

    Validation, also known as Verification, is a reactive process and is difficult to predict the duration and extent of the involvement of the independent assessor, such as GeoCon.  On this basis, based on our experience, we offer our clients a budget based on anticipated workload and provide regular updates as to how the work / budget is progressing through the validation process.

    For short term remediation projects such as adopting a BRE cover system, validation can even be carried out upon completion of the remedial activity.  The downside of this approach is that we would need to advance validation hand pits in the finished conditions and all the potential disturbance that would entail.

    It is more usual to provide a ‘watching brief’ during the remedial work and report accordingly.

    When dealing with a cover system remediation, none of this negates the need to confirm that any material brought onto site for use in soft landscaping areas (e.g. gardens) is, itself, also ‘fit for purpose’ and suitable for use in its intended location.  We would always need to collect validation samples for the imported material.

    Validation of groundwater remediation is a long-term commitment, as generally, the processes adopted for groundwater remediation are long term in themselves.  Quite often validation of this process is achieved by showing a reduction in concentration of the Contaminant of Concern over time with a prediction of when full validation will be achieved, a process of monitored attenuation.

    Validation for Geotechnical Projects.

    Whilst GeoCon do not design gas protection systems of buildings we have the capability to validate the installation of gas protection scheme in accordance with CIRIA C735, with on site inspections carried out in accordance with Appendix A5 of that guidance. Validation of former mine workings, mine shafts and ground improvements can all be undertaken in a variety of similar approaches. These range from confirmatory boreholes, Surface Wave Testing and Analysis, insitu CBR testing, amongst others.

    We have the capability to:

    • support the validation activities through the planning process,
    • identifying that key targets are met,
    • providing a range of on-site management services, from a simple watching brief to full time site attendance for the more complicated or location sensitive remedial works,
    • monitoring procedure and protocols,
    • information management, and
    • attendance at project meetings.

    Not only do we have the technical ability to validate remediation projects, but we also have the commercial awareness to understand cost is also a factor in remediating a site and whatever remediation strategy is adopted must not only comply with the necessary legislation and guidance but also be commercially viable within the remit of the development project and be validated in a clear and concise manner.

     

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