Visitors find solutions at UK's major remediation event

ICU and ET 2004, the UK's leading events for the remediation and environmental technology markets, report a success story. Complemented for the first time by the Environmental Management Forum (EMF) and NEMEX, the National Energy Management Exhibition, the show at the NEC, Birmingham provided the complete environmental and energy forum and showcase for the sector.

Throughout the three-day event, aisles and seminar theatres were busy with thousands of visitors from the UK and overseas. Visitor numbers were up and dozens of exhibitors have already re-booked stands for next year's show. ICU and ET, plus the co-located exhibitions, will be held at the NEC from 24-26 May, 2005.

Comments from exhibitors included the view of Adam Flynn of Radio-Tech Ltd, showing at ET: "In terms of quality and quantity of visitors, the show was great. We have made some quality contacts and genuine potential sales leads."

Mike Hodge of DEFRA said: "This event has proven to be a really valuable experience - a really great way of speaking directly to the people we are trying to reach." "ET 2004 provided a fantastic opportunity for us to generate sales enquiries," was the comment from Emma Gould, Assistant Product Manager at VWR International. The Environment Agency was delighted with the response to its seminars and briefing sessions, reporting that over 250 visitors were attracted to its on-stand presentations during the show, almost doubling the response from 2003.

A visitor from Belgium commented: "The show provides a wonderful arena for visitors to talk to leading industry experts face to face. It really does offer a great opportunity to compare competing companies. I have also been able to gather some useful background information on emissions trading and abatement. My trip has definitely been worthwhile."

Clean up technology

An impressive line-up of remediation technology and services on show at ICU 2004 included CIRIA's stand where the construction and research organisation provided visitors with a range of its best practice guidance covering contaminated land assessment and remediation, brownfield redevelopment and environmental good practice. CIRIA has also produced a new training pack, Implementation of remedial options for contaminated land, a high quality CPD accredited training pack aimed at all those who have to deal with contaminated land. Produced by experts from industry and government, CIRIA says this is the first training programme aimed specifically at implementation of remedial options.

Response Bioremediation, a division of Dew Remediation Ltd specialising in the in-situ bioremediation of contaminated land, demonstrated, through graphics and case studies, how its specialist products and experience can provide cost effective solutions. The company's wide client base is drawn from many market sectors including housebuilders, property companies, insurance companies and the electricity supply industry.

Precision injection technology incorporating Response Bio-Gel® is one of the range of remediation treatments employed by the company to clean up sites. In a recent project Dew Remediation completed a £1 million contract for the reclamation of a former Shell site at Trafford Park, which operated for some 85 years as an oil storage and packaging depot. Oil leaks and spillages have, over the years, percolated into the ground resulting in contamination of the soil. The aim of the contract was to reduce residual contamination to an acceptable level, to prepare the site for industrial development and to provide service roads and associated services.

The works carried out included the extraction and disposal of groundwater/oil emulsion, on-site mixing and replacement of soils considered suitable for such use and the disposal of heavily contaminated soils.

Brownfield site surveying

ICU exhibitor Met Surveys' Geophysics Division, is a sub-surface investigation specialist. The company's geophysical expertise is applied in many areas, such as utility detection, sub-surface void and obstruction identification and brownfield site characterisation.

Recent investment in equipment includes a Mala Geoscience Ramac X3M ground penetrating radar, a Radiodetection RD4000 radio frequency locator and a Bartington Grad 601-2 magnetometer.

In a recent project Met Surveys was commissioned to conduct a geophysical investigation of an existing substation and adjacent brownfield site earmarked for redevelopment.

For the project to proceed the client required a detailed plan of utilities and services around the current building and within the area of the proposed building. A desk study revealed the presence of mineshafts within the area to be redeveloped. Confirmation of the shaft locations was therefore required.

Met Surveys used its state-of-the-art instrumentation, minimising mobilisation time and costs. Utilities and services were traced across a 6,000m2 (0.6ha) area in under three days using RFL (radio frequency locator) and GPR (ground penetrating radar).

A targeted microgravity survey was undertaken to confirm the presence and location of the mineshafts. The survey successfully identified three low-density targets in the area thought to contain the mineshafts.

Low-density lineations were also discovered highlighting the potential of further mine workings within the area. The information improved the engineer's knowledge of the site as well as enabling the targeting of further intrusive investigation.

Digital spoil mapping

The National Soil Resources Institute (NSRI), based at Cranfield University's Silsoe campus, presented its new and easy to understand digital map of the soil beneath our feet at ICU 2004. This new Soilscapes data set has been designed to for ease of use by a wide range of users in planning, the environment, conservation and countryside management.

Data for England will soon be available to the public on the Government mapping web site,

The Soilscapes map covers the whole of England and Wales at a scale of 1:250,000 and indicates the distribution of 27 different soil types. These range from shallow soils over chalk through to heavy, wet clays of the Midland Vales and the deep peats of the upland moors. Each soil type has been characterised by its environmental and ecological characteristics, including the types of habitat that could most easily be developed on it.

Dick Thompson, Business Development Manager at NSRI, said: "Soil is the hidden landscape and offers, over most lowland and urban landscapes, the only remaining evidence of the formerly rich and varied landscapes that previously existed. Our new Soilscapes map offers a very clear picture to countryside management and conservation professionals of what should be their target for restoration in these currently degraded areas."

English Nature, the Government's conservation watchdog, is already using Soilscapes to map the potential of habitats and even of individual species. In the sustainable development arena, Hampshire County Council is using the data for the county area as a key input in preparations for the Hampshire Soil Strategy.

Site managers hope that it will contribute to the suite of maps on sites and assist landowners and managers with the development of integrated land management plans.



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