News & Articles‎ > ‎

What is Contaminated Land?

posted 27 Nov 2013, 04:20 by Unknown user   [ updated 27 Nov 2013, 06:36 ]
Contaminated Land Remediation
land contamination is caused by previous industrial or commercial usage, for example gasworks, fuel stations, mining, landfilling. Land can also become contaminated due to its proximity to contaminated areas.

Contamination can occur in a number of forms. It may exist in solid form in soil (for example heavy metals in ash or clinker), as a spillage of fuel which may affect a river or stream or as ground gas (methane and/or carbon dioxide) or fuel vapours.

Contamination does not occur solely as a result of human activities and land can be contaminated as a result of its natural state. For example, marsh gas can cause a contamination problem, particularly in areas which are occupied by moss/peat land. 

Assessing whether any such contamination or the likelihood of contamination being present is significant depends on a number of factors and areas of legislation.

Even though contamination may be present on a site, it may not be significant unless the use or state of the site changes or contaminants are disturbed or mobilised.

The investigation, assessment and remediation of contaminated land should follow current best practice and should be carried out by a competent person with a recognised relevant qualification and sufficient experience in contaminated land i.e. an environmental consultant. This is where Stansted Environmental Services come in. SES specialises in providing commercial solutions for contaminated land conditions for residential and commercial developments.

Contaminated Land investigations are typically carried out in a phased approach as follows;

Phase 1 - Desktop Study

A Phase 1 assessment is required to obtain a good understanding of a site's history, its setting and its potential to be affected by contamination. A Phase 1 comprises a desktop study, a site walkover survey and a conceptual site model.

Phase 2 - Intrusive Investigation

If Phase 1 indicates that there is a potential for contamination, a Phase 2 will be required. Phase 2 comprises site investigation and risk assessment, to determine whether there are any unacceptable risks to people, property or the environment.

Phase 3 - Remediation Method Statement

If Phase 2 identifies any unacceptable risks, then remediation will be required. Remediation involves the clean-up of a site to ensure that it is safe and suitable for use. Remediation can take many forms e.g. excavating contamination or installing a cover system.

Phase 4 - Validation Study

Verification (or validation) works are undertaken following remediation. The purpose is to confirm the success of the remediation works.

Our competent consultants have a number of years of experience in dealing with Contaminated Land conditions and working with Local Authorities.

For FREE advice and to get a Contaminated Land Investigation quote please call us on 01279 873380, email us at