Occupiers Liability Claims

Contamination of Third-Party Property – Essex

Background

OHES was instructed by Loss Adjusters on behalf of Proper Insurers to investigate and remediate an oil spill which impacted a series of residential properties in Essex. A total of 600 litres of kerosene oil was lost from a damaged oil storage tank at the insured property. The oil migrated down gradient from the spill location and impacted four adjacent domestic properties.

Completed Works

OHES Conducted the following work:

  • Set up of a temporary fuel supply to the insured property.
  • Removal of the damaged tank, concrete tank base and excavation of the underlying contaminated soils.
  • Reinstatement and installation of a new oil storage tank.
  • Excavations around the footings and along foul drains of two of the properties where kerosene contamination was identified.
  • Installation of a Vapour Extraction Unit (VEU) to reduce the internal vapours the adjacent property.
  • Completion of interception trenches down gradient of the spill site where free product collection to capture the escaped kerosene.
  • Installation of groundwater treatment systems across adjacent properties to remove the product from the trenches.
  • Indoor air sampling to confirm that the risk of internal vapours had been removed from the impacted properties.

Outcome

The actions carried out by OHES have reduced the risk of kerosene to homeowners within the four impacted properties and the wider environment. The levels of contamination have been reduced to an acceptable level.


Kerosene Loss to Groundwater - Cotswolds

Background

The incident involved an escape of up to 1500 litres of kerosene from a leaking below-ground oil transfer pipe on a domestic property. The property overlies a sensitive aquifer and has a private water supply well on-site; oil was found to be entering this well, posing a serious pollution risk to a number of springs and watercourses located down-slope.

OHES was appointed to investigate and manage the incident on behalf of liability insurers.

Completed Works

  • Initial investigations, including pressure testing to confirm the source of the oil leak.
  • Localised excavation of soils at the point-of-loss.
  • Deployment of telemetry controlled pump / skimmers to remove free-phase oil from the well.
  • Follow-on abstraction and treatment of polluted groundwater, with in-situ treatment and “flushing” of residual contamination from the bedrock.
  • On-going monitoring of groundwater, springs and watercourses to check for signs of off-site migration and to verify removal of contamination.

Outcome

  • Completed works prevented spread of pollution off-site and achieved removal of contamination, to the satisfaction of the Environment Agency.
  • Waste disposal minimised.
  • Project completed 5% below approved budget and to complete satisfaction of the homeowner.