Site Investigations on Industrial/Commercial Sites

Contaminated land site investigation

Many industrial or commercial sites will have contamination issues, either from recent incidents e.g. spills or from the historical usage of the site. Processes such as manufacturing, mining, fuel and chemical storage/distribution etc. will often cause the ground to become contaminated, especially if these activities took place at a time when environmental legislation was not as stringent as it is today.

Common types of contamination at industrial sites include oils, heavy metals and chemicals and can pose a risk to the environment and human health. Land is legally defined as ‘contaminated land’ where substances are causing or could cause significant harm to people, property or protected species or significant pollution of surface waters or groundwater.

Where contamination/potential contamination exists we can provide contaminated land site investigations in order to ascertain the presence and extent of contamination and vitally establish the risks it poses to the environment and people.

Geo Pollution Technologies provide all phases of Contaminated Land Assessments
Phase I contaminated land survey

In order to establish the potential nature of contamination (Chemicals of Concern (COC)) and the locations of possible contamination “hotspots” (Potential Areas of Concern (PAOC)) a Phase I survey is conducted. The Phase I survey looks at current and historical site usage, any reported pollution incidents, surrounding land usage, ground conditions and receptor identification

During our investigations we liaise with relevant Regulators and data sources e.g. The Environment Agency, The Coal Authority and local councils.

As well as carrying out a desktop survey we will usually conduct a site walkover to gain a better understanding of the current site condition. The site walkover aims to identify potential indicators of past/present contamination e.g. Surface stains, backfilled areas, land use, subsidence and poor drainage.

Phase II intrusive contaminated land survey

The Phase I investigation allows us to design our phase II investigation to make it as effective as possible.

The phase II contaminated land survey involves the collection of soil, groundwater and gas samples in order to assess the type and extent of contamination. The collected samples are analysed at a UKAS accredited laboratory for identified COCs. The concentration and extent of any contamination identified is presented in an easy to read report aimed at satisfying by client and Regulatory requirements. The report will be based on the source-pathway-receptor model and will provide qualitative and/or quantitative data. This data will be analysed based on planned future site use and will provide recommendations for any remedial actions necessary.

Phase III Contaminated Land Remediation Design

If the phase I and II contaminated land surveys show remediation is necessary we can design a remediation strategy and methodology. The remediation will be configured based on the site usage and the drivers behind any necessary remediation.

The remediation methodology will be based on site specific constraints and will be tailored based on our client’s priorities, different factors to consider will include:

  • The type of contamination
  • The location of contamination
  • The extent of contamination
  • The timescales of the project
  • Future site usage
  • Sustainability targets the client wants to meet

We will consult with relevant regulatory authorities to ensure the remediation design and targeted remediation levels are satisfactory for the requirements of the project.

Phase IV – Contaminated land remediation

Once a design strategy has been completed we have the expertise to carry out the works. For more information on the strategies we can utilise see our remediation page.

We will reassess the remedial technology being used throughout the duration of project to ensure the most effective and economical technology is used at all stages and we will ensure that all regulatory requirements are met throughout e.g. mobile treatment licensing, waste management licensing, discharge permits etc.

Following a remediation project a validation report will be provided confirming the final contaminative status of the land.

Site Investigation Case Studies

site investigation and contaminated land remediation
oil contamination site investigation
chrome contamination site investigation

Extracts from legislation and guidance

"Some types of contaminated land are classed as ‘special sites’. This includes land that:

  • seriously affects drinking waters, surface waters or important groundwater sources
  • has been, or is being, used for certain industrial activities, such as oil refining or making explosives
  • is being or has been regulated using a permit issued under the integrated pollution control or pollution prevention and control regimes
  • has been used to get rid of waste acid tars
  • is owned or occupied by the Ministry of Defence
  • is contaminated by radioactivity
  • is a nuclear site"

Environment Agency guidance - Contaminated land

"2. Who decides if land is contaminated

Your local council or an environment agency will decide if your land is contaminated.

Your land could be investigated for a number of reasons, including when:

  • land is sold, let, used or otherwise transferred
  • land is proposed for development
  • local councils inspect land in their area
  • an application is made for an environmental permit or other licence
  • land is polluted"

Environment Agency guidance - Contaminated land

Need advice for services and products? Call us now 01656 741 799

Geo Pollution Technologies (UK) LTD - company number - 04689357


GPT head office is based in South Wales and covers all areas of South Wales, West Wales and Mid Wales including Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend, Newport, Port Talbot, Powys, Llanelli, Neath, Pembrokeshire and Aberystwyth.

We also cover the South West of England from our premesis in Exeter including Cornwall, Devon, Taunton, Redruth, Truro, St Austell, Falmouth, New quay, Torquay, Paignton, Bristol, Plymouth, Bath, Gloucester and Somerset, .

We also operate across the midlands, London, Birmingham, Leicester, Northampton, Derby, Stoke, Nottingham, Coventry, Liverpool, Worcester, Southampton, Swindon, Manchester, Sheffield, Slough, Heathrow, Leatherhead and Surrey.