Oil spill clean up in Derry

Project Details (Oil spill clean up in Derry)

A large oil spill clean up in Derry was recently undertaken by Gaea Environmental –  Oil Spill Experts.
This site is part of a social housing development and this event represents one of the largest oil spill clean ups in Derry in recent years.
  • Large, sudden spillage of home heating oil from a tank.
  • Saturated soils across two properties and potentially into a third.
  • Awkward site consisting of several large embankments and retaining walls.
  • Site prone to excessive water ingress and flooding
  • 80T of contaminated material removed
  • 1 chemical treatment application.
  • Project turned around within 3 weeks.
  • No further costs were incurred than agreed
  • Client & tenent satisfied with all
  • Project won by competitive tender where Gaea were less than half the cost of our next competitor.

Oil spill clean up in Derry, leak from oil tank. www.gaea-environmental.com

Oil Spill Clean up in Derry – The Challenge 

A large housing association contacted us to report a large oil spill clean up in Derry from a single skinned plastic tank that had impacted at least two of their properties. The tank in question had been filled to maximum capacity and during the warmer months had spontaneously rupture along its bottom seam. 

The tenant discovered the leak fairly quickly and was able to capture the severity on his camera phone, the clip showed a wide and violent jet of home heating oil being ejected from the fissure.  Much of the oil remaining oil in the tank was recovered, however approximately 1000 litres were lost.

The properties were sited on significant multi-directional slopes involving a retaining wall.  The sites were also prone to heavy ingress of water from other properties and drainage was a major issue internally.

The observed plume migrating across the second property in Derry.

Impact to a property from a neighbour in Derry / LDerry.

The Solution

Following instruction Gaea attended and carried out a detailed site investigation on this oil spill clean up in Derry consisting of a drilled borehole survey with on-site soil vapor screening by way of photo-ionization.  The soil vapor survey allowed us to rapidly assess where on the sites the highest concentrations of soil vapors were located, by deduction we can then assess the probability of the presence of oil at each location.  This initial data was then corroborated by a comprehensive hand augering investigation.  This step is critical as it allows us to visually examine the soils themselves and catalog their physical properties. It also allows us to establish the depths the contaminants have migrated to.


Once on-site, our team removed any fences and above ground obstructions, began excavating and controlling any perched groundwaters.  It was deemed prior to the start of any works that the geology and water ingression were too problematic for an in-situ treatment system.  The most pragmatic course of action was established to be the removal of the upper contaminated material, treatment of any perched groundwaters and ingressing waters.  Finally, following continual investigation any hotspots that remained were addressed with intensive in-situ chemical oxidation.

Gaea Engineers applying chemical oxidants directly to hot spots in a job in Derry.

The application of chemical oxidation reagents to the remaining hotspots at an oil spill clean in Derry


Oil Spill Clean up in Derry – The Outcome


Following the excavation phase on this oil spill clean up in Derry, investigations were conducted to locate any on-going risks.  These were addressed as described above and 12 soil samples selected from across the properties.  The samples were sent for independent analysis at independent UKAS accredited laboratories.  Once a satisfactory set of analytical results were obtained the properties proceeded to the reinstatement phase.

Gaea’s in house reinstatement teams then attend the properties and began to professionally bring the sites back to at least the pre-spill standard.

A few improvements were made at the request of the tenants and with the explicit agreement of the housing association.

All the works were carried out within the agreed time frame and costs that had been agreed with the homeowner’s insurer. The client was very happy with our pragmatic, no nonsense, customer focused and efficient approach.  Particularly the fact that we were half the price of the closest rival, despite proposing the same scope.

Less than three week turn around.

A £40k saving compared to our closest rival, £130k saving compared to third tenderer.

The tenants were kept in their homes, avoiding loss of income claims from our client.

The extremely short turnarounds mean less stress and aggravation for everyone involved.

Gaea are just as technically proficient as any other contractor operating in the UK & Ireland.  How we differ is in our approach, we are honest and operationally efficient.  Why not consider us for any remediation project you may have?  Contact us now for a free appraisal.