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


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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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