Remediation leaders lauded

Leaders in the field of contaminated land remediation have been recognised for innovation and good practice.

The inaugral Brownfield Briefing Remediation Awards were held in London last week following the annual Contaminated Land and Brownfield Remediation Conference.

The awards were divided into three categories of remediation techniques, assessing the best use of biological, chemical and combined treatment with a separate award for the most innovative method.

All entries were judged by an independent panel which included experts from both industry and academic institutions.

Parsons Brinckerhoff won both Best use if Biological Systems and Most Innovative Remediation Method for its SEREBAR system, used at an operational gas centre in Devon.

The judges recognised that gas sites are problematic, but operational ones especially so.

The site required remediation due to threats to groundwater from pollutants, including cyanide, PAHs and organic compounds associated with town gas production.

Parsons Brinckerhoff was the environmental consultant providing a full-scale implementation of the technology.

Gordon Lethbridge, Chair of the technical committee CL:AIRE and one of the judges said:”Innovative in-situ solution underpinned by high level of technical understanding of the ground conditions and hydrogeology is vital for success of in-situ remediation.

“There was a consensus approach underpinned by the university research programme, stakeholder engagement process and impressive performance data.”

In the category of Best use of Chemical Systems,

QDS Environmental Ltd scooped the award for its in-situ chemical oxidation treatment for groundwater remediation at a city centre site in Leicester.

The site, formerly a textile works, was being redeveloped for residential use and included a listed Victorian mill building.

The principal contaminants present on the site were dissolved and absorbed phase chlorinated solvents within the River Terrace Gravels aquifer.

The client required a powerful and reliable remediation solution that would not disrupt the development activities and which could be completed within a six-week window.

In-situ chemical oxidation was the only treatment technique capable of achieving the required rapid completion.

This technique also avoided the need to install wells within the footprint of the listed building or to build remediation infrastructure into the development works.

Phil Crowcroft, Director of ERM and one of the judges said: “QDS took on a project with such tight constraints that many organisations would have walked away from it. The way they rose to the challenge of applying a complete solution in a very short timescale is an excellent showcase for the chemical oxidation technology.”

Komex won the combined category for a number of factors, including clear integration of different technologies,and detailed cost-benefit analyses on its remediation of a former gasworks in High Wycombe.

The site presented a number of challenging features, including a sensitive

environmental setting near a public water supply well and river, location in the centre of a busy town, steep topography and relatively confined area and a wide variety of historical structures and contaminants.

A number of physical constraints existed on the site, including site boundaries and the presence of a low permeability ‘barrier’ layer between the contaminated gravel aquifer and main chalk aquifer.

Mr Crowcroft said: “The use of cost/benefit analysis which took into account social and environmental factors was excellent, and I look forward to hearing how the next stage of chemical oxidation progresses.”

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