Dairy Farm Hydrocarbon Contamination Response

Quick response to hydrocarbon contamination

Minimising the impact of a residential oil spill


Client: Dairy Farm, Chainhurst, Kent

  • Contamination caused by a heating oil spill
  • Ideal Response team performed excavations to locate the source
  • Hydrocarbon-impacted soil tested and then removed
  • Speedy action lowered risk to residents and the environment

The challenge

The owners of Dairy Farm, a residential property, first spotted a significant oily sheen in an ornamental pond within their property grounds. The source of the hydrocarbon contamination was not immediately obvious, and the owners turned to Ideal Response for a solution.

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Our challenge was to quickly limit the impact of contamination in the pond and surrounding grounds, identify the hydrocarbon source, and prevent any ongoing risk to the property owners and local environment.

Oil Spill Quick Response

THE IDEAL Solution

The Ideal Response team undertook work in four stages to successfully solve the contamination issue at Dairy Farm:

Stage 1: Damage limitation

Quick action was needed to prevent the unnecessary spread of damaging hydrocarbons. Ideal Response deployed absorbent pads and booms on the surface of the pond adjacent to the spill area, and removed vegetation that was clearly impacted by the spill from the adjoining bank.

Stage 2: Exploratory works

After a detailed inspection and digging, the Ideal Response team identified the source of the hydrocarbon contamination as a leaking section of redundant pipework connected to a heating oil tank. The pipe failure had resulted in a spill of heating oil into the surrounding ground, which acted as a pathway for hydrocarbons to migrate into the adjacent pond. This section of pipe was isolated from the heating oil tank by Ideal to stop the release of hydrocarbons.

Stage 3: Remedial works

Ideal Response decided that soil which was clearly impacted by hydrocarbons should be excavated, to sever the pollutant from the remaining land. Since the hydrocarbon contamination had migrated beneath an outbuilding, this was also temporarily removed. Soil samples of the exposed excavation were removed for generic human health risk assessment testing. From the results, it was judged that contamination had not penetrated the underlying, relatively impermeable Weald Clay Formation to a significant depth.

Stage 4: Future protection

Ideal has proposed that the ponds and ditches on and adjacent to the site are regularly inspected for evidence of hydrocarbon contamination such as an oily sheen.

oil spill: hydrocarbon contamination
oil spill cleaning

Absorbent pads and booms were quickly used on the surface of the pond

oil spill cleanup
Midway through the removal of temporary outside building for land contamination
oil spill cleanup at dairy farm

An outside building beside the pond was resting on contaminated soil. As a result the outside building was stripped down to treat the affected area.

Before and After Results

Ideal Response were confronted with a spillage beneath ground of some 700-1,000 litres of heating oil at Dairy Farm. After containing the visible damage, an area of around 4.5m x 9m was excavated to depths of between 0.6m and 1.4m.

Ideal Response, Oil Spill Cleanup Experts
Ideal Response technician conducting contamination testing

Following excavation and testing of the contaminated soil, concentrations of speciated petroleum hydrocarbons and BTEX compounds were generally low in the tested samples and were less than the corresponding Generic Assessment Criteria (GAC). In light of these tests, remediation works were effective in removing the large majority of the impacted soils and therefore the source of the hydrocarbon contamination. Dairy Farm is once again a quiet and safe residential property.

“The Ideal team were very thorough in their approach to sourcing and preventing the oil leak from further damaging our grounds. We are pleased they based their work on scientific evidence too.”

Mr Robson, owner of Dairy Farm

Ideal Response’s Operations Manager, Adam Bourgeois also elaborated on the works carried out to Dairy Farm stating the following…

“Our four stage approach proved very successful at Dairy Farm. We used a mixture of science and selective groundworks to reach the right conclusion, and the once-contaminated site is now tested as safe.”

A large area of contaminated soil was excavated, tested and declared safe for replacement with new soil.

Spills won’t become disasters with Ideal Response

Our British Disaster Management Association (BDMA) trained technicians are well versed in risk management, and give effective response to spills of oil and chemicals – whether in residential or industrial settings.

Take advantage of our rapid, professional and affordable soil contamination service by contacting us now:

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