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Innovative technologies for contaminated land

The practicalities of land remediation in the UK have been brought to the fore by the UK Government’s pledge to ensure that 60% of all domestic construction is on brownfield sites. It is pressing developers to reclaim contaminated land.

xcavation and disposal is the most frequently applied route to remedi- ate contaminated land. However, there is now a wealth of new techniques that can be used to avoid off-site disposal. These incorporate biological, chemical or physical processes such as


bioremediation and bioventing, vacuum extractions, air sparging, soil washing and vapour extraction, and cement- based fixation. In most cases, they enable contaminants to be destroyed, removed or

On-site bioremediation in progress (Photo courtesy of Entec UK Ltd)

immobilised without resorting to extraction and off-site disposal. They offer an attractive and more-sustainable alternative. If the market for these new methods is to realise its potential, perceptions about appropriate technologies and methods need to change substantially and CIRIA is working on a range of projects aimed at achieving this change.

One such project has involved an analysis of all case studies in the UK of sites remediated using biological techniques. The objective was to make the lessons learned from current commercial practices available to all. The findings of the case study assessments have been used to generate guidance on the selection and application of


Mitigating utility works disruption The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) introduced a new system

of managing utilities’ works in streets, the intention being to reduce disruption from such activities. It was anticipated that the Act would lead to an increase in the use of trenchless techniques for such works, but this has not been the case.

T 8

he Pipe Jacking Association set up a working group to investigate the lack of market growth in the use of trenchless techniques and commissioned TRL with Jason Consultants Ltd to review the available information.

The research team surveyed motoring organisations, contractors and highway authorities. The consensus was that the Act has not led to any noticeable reduction in the disruption caused by utility works. This view is supported by changes in the way the Act has been implemented and also by recent Government initiatives such as the planned introduction of pilot rental

schemes in Camden and Middlesbrough. There is a pressing need to collect and validate data on the impacts and indirect costs of street works. This needs to be follow- ed by open debate on the options available for introducing new working practices and how they might be implemented.

For further information please contact Marilyn Burtwell (01344 770214; E-mail: or Ken Brady (01344 770363; E-mail: and both on

fax: 01344 770356. Research Focus NO. 48 FEBRUARY 2002

biological techniques on contaminated sites. The resulting handbook covers the broad range of applications for biological systems, from the early stages of contaminated site risk assessment through remediation design and planning, to implementation, validation and after-care. It also fully addresses the technical, financial, legal, regulatory, practical and social issues surrounding biological systems. CIRIA hopes that the handbook will help greatly to improve the confidence and understanding of practitioners in this area.

For further information please contact CIRIA (020 7222 8891; fax: 020 7222 1708; E-mail: Website:


Department of Trade and Industry,

Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1E 5DU

(020 7890 5704; fax: 020 7890 5759)

Department for International Development,

1 Palace St, London SWE 5HE (020 7023 7000; fax: 020 7023 0072) Website: E-mail:


British Cement Association, Century House, Telford Avenue, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG11 6YS

(01344 762676; fax: 01344 761214) Website: E-mail:


Garston, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD2 7JR (01923 664000; fax: 01923 664010) Website: E-mail:

Centre for Innovative Construction Engineering,

Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU (01509 228549; fax: 01509 223982) Website: E-mail:

Centre for Window and Cladding Technology,

University of Bath, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7AY (01225 826541; fax: 01225 826556) Website: E-mail:

Construction Industry Research

and Information Association, 6 Storey’s Gate, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AU (020 7222 8891; fax: 020 7222 1708) Website: E-mail:

HR Wallingford Ltd,

Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BA (01491 835381; fax: 01491 832233) Website: E-mail:

The Steel Construction Institute,

Silwood Park, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7QN (01344 623345; fax: 01344 622944) Website: E-mail:

TRL Ltd,

Old Wokingham Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, RG45 6AU (01344 773131; fax: 01344 770356) Website: E-mail:


Institution of Civil Engineers, 1 Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA (020 7222 7722; fax: 020 7222 7500) Website: E-mail:

Institution of Structural Engineers,

11 Upper Belgrave Street, London SW1X 8BH (020 7235 4535; fax: 020 7235 4294) Website: E-mail:


ABP Research & Consultancy Ltd Ove Arup Partnership Bechtel Limited

Fordham Johns Partnership Geotechnical Consulting Group Laing Technology Group Ltd Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd Mott MacDonald Group Ltd Pick Everard Posford Duvivier

Rofe, Kennard & Lapworth Scottish Hydro-Electric plc Southern Testing Laboratories Symonds Group

Taywood Engineering Ltd Wilde & Partners George Wimpey plc

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