Using DEFRA funding,South Cambridgeshire District Council commissioned Pristine to carry out suitable intrusive environmental investigations of the land formerly occupied by Cottenham Gas Works after the Council identified the area as potentially ‘contaminated land’ and/or a ‘special site’ through it’s duties under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act.

Using the data collected by the Phase I Desk Study produced by the Council, Pristine planned a sampling investigation throughout the affected area, which currently comprises residential properties with domestic gardens that had been developed after the gas works were demolished.

Before any field work was carried out, an Pristine engineer met residential property owners affected by the work in order to provide a summary of the sampling process and to answer any questions that the residents may have had.
Pristine then planned its work around the comments it received from the residents to make sure it met the Council objectives without causing unwanted disruption or attracting complaint.

Soil and groundwater sampling extended to a variety of locations, including inside a private garage. In addition, samples of tap water, home-grown produce, and leaf mulch were also collected to provide valuable data needed to assess all potential risks to known receptors.

The Desk Study showed that the investigation area is situated over a principal aquifer, which is locally abstracted. Pristine’ preliminary ground investigation confirmed the geological conditions and identified the presence and construction of the two bases of the former gas holders.

Soil and groundwater sampling found significant contamination in the form of Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Volatile Organic Compounds and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) within shallow soil and groundwater beneath one of the residential properties.

Pristine liaised regularly with the Council throughout the investigation and issued a detailed risk assessment to all parties as an electronic formal written report. This formed the basis for determination of the site as ’Contaminated Land’ and subsequently designated it as a ‘Special Site’.