Cokeworks site reclaimed in the Rhondda

One million cubic metres of soil is being moved in the course of a major scheme to regenerate a former cokeworks site in South Wales where the remediation method adopted eliminates the removal of contaminated material off-site

Edmund Nuttall Ltd is currently undertaking an extensive remediation programme on the site of the former cokeworks at Coed Ely in South Wales. The Coed Ely Reclamation Scheme is a £4.2 million contract, which involves moving highly contaminated material with a cocktail of assorted chemicals including tars, cyanide, sulphate and benzole. The project is being carried out on behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC.

No off-site removal
The remediation strategy has involved eliminating the removal of contaminated material off-site and making best use of natural resources available on-site. To this end the site is operating under a waste management licence. Part of the remediated area is made up of peat and is being surcharged with a combination of colliery shale and crushed stone from the surrounding hills. The crushed stone is also being used for capping purposes. Other works have included the construction of the lining, capping over the cell, bulk earthworks, leachate control, extensive drainage work, lined channel and infrastructure works.

Drainage and leachate control is a significant factor on this site in view of the close proximity of the River Ely. With the works extending over a winter period Nuttall implemented a temporary shut down of the site. This required close liaison with the Environment Agency to develop a surface water management plan and a leachate management plan for the shut down period. With EA approval the plans were successfully implemented over the winter period.

In total it is anticipated that upon completion one million cubic metres of material will have been shifted of which 200,000 m³ is highly contaminated and is now encapsulated in the lined cell. In addition 6,120 metres of ditching and lined channel, 2,500 metres of varying diameter drainage and 15,500 m² metres of access roads and footways will have been constructed.

The plant came into operation in 1914 and was designed and erected by the Coppee Company. The works were divided into three sections namely coal preparation, coke ovens and by-products.

Until a few years after the 1914-918 war the coke was sold for blast furnace purposes and it was decided to concentrate on the production of foundry coke. The site underwent a rapid expansion until production ceased in 1985.

The Coed Ely site is located on the western side of the River Ely valley, opposite the village of Coed Ely, between Llantrisant to the south and Tonyrefail to the north. It is elongated in shape along the length of the valley, some 1,300 metres in length and between 180 metres and 400 metres in width. In the northern area, the site extends up slope to the west, to a former colliery tip on the elevated ground above the site.


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