Ground & Water News October 2019

8th October 2019

Geoenvironmental • Geotechnical • News

There is nothing Ground and Water won’t consider when delivering great results for you and your team. This month some elbow grease allows a development to go ahead; research solves a tricky slope stability question and lots of time spent sliding around in clay; puts a smile on a client’s face, exercises the Ground and Water team’s technical expertise and tests its physical fitness to the limit.

In this edition:







A hand-made solution means serious housing development hold up is averted 

A developer’s Asbestos headache vanishes, thanks to diligence, training and lots of elbow grease. Ground and Water was called to a brown-field site being prepared for redevelopment, when demolition contractors discovered cement bound Asbestos in Made Ground. A remediation scheme, involving Ground and Water technicians hand picking the Asbestos from piles of excavated soil – following strict safety guidelines – and subsequent advice, has allowed the development to continue. More here…

Chalking up another great result!

A back to school approach, delivers a more stable outcome for Ground and Water’s client. Working alongside the developer, its architect and a structural engineer, Ground and Water was challenged to determine a stable slope angle and compaction method, to aid the construction of a housing development access road and car park, on a chalk embankment.

The underlying geology was proven to be weathered unstructured chalk, which challenged primary guidance. Ground and Water undertook research using wider academic literature, to see whether this could be overcome. Geotechnical testing and a review of literature relating to remoulded chalk embankments, including those used for railway lines, enabled the client to get on with the build. See the full case study here…

Flawed report investigated and potentially expensive issue avoided

A client is saved time and money on foundation design thanks to new advice following a geological oversight. Ground and Water has solved a potentially expensive issue faced by a property developer in the South East. Initial advice concerning underlying geology of a large planned housing development, suggested underlying low bearing soils would require deep foundation design. Following extensive investigation and testing, this identification was proven to be flawed. This resulted in a significant cost and time saving in terms of the foundation requirements. Read the full story here…


Bringing sites to life!

An inventive ‘interactive’ site walkover service is set to speed up conditions sign off.

Often reviewers of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental site reports, don’t have the time to see the site at first hand. Thanks to a new service, from Ground and Water, this is no longer the case. Engineers can now provide clients and regulators with an interactive video site walkover. This “live” commentary of the site, delivered during the detailed site walkover, will provide an additional level of information to Phase One desk studies. This will enable regulators to get a better “feel” for the site and will ultimately lead to quicker sign off of conditions.

Setting the scene for development is important. Seeing it first hand is better. The interactive walkover will support the Desk Study report so the reader can get a proper feel for what the site is like, what it was previously used for, potentially what underlies it and what is going to happen to it. This is especially vital when undertaking a Phase 1 Risk Assessment. Contact us for further information.

An in-house DCP is saving you money

The Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP) provides a measure of the California Bearing Ratio (CBR) value of the soils underlying a site. Now in-house, it provides information for the design of roads and hardstanding for our clients, in a timely manner, without having to pass on the cost of sub-contractors to you.

Topsoil verification tool, helping you to ensure your topsoil is compliant

A tool to help developers to select Topsoil, which is suitable for use, is now available from Ground & Water.

Often Topsoil is imported to site, without your consultant’s knowledge, which is out of date or has inappropriate certificates. As part of validation conditions it is highly likely (and a technical necessity) that Topsoil must be independently inspected by a Geoenvironmental engineer.

On sampling and testing Topsoil, the results often show it has high Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons, Lead content and even Asbestos fibres. We do our best to pragmatically assess the risk this poses, but sometimes the Topsoil is unsuitable and has to be removed at extra cost to the client. The tool – which takes the form of a checklist and technical guide – will help you to find good quality and compliant Topsoil, reducing this eventuality.

If you would like the verification tool email: [email protected]


G&W celebrates 10 years serving you!

How do a formation of geologists mark the 10th anniversary of the company they have helped to build from the foundations up? Typically they set out on a Tough Mudder run and wade through some sloppy Weald Clay Formation!

On 28th September 2009, founding directors Fran Williams and Dipalee Jukes, launched Ground & Water. Fast-forward 10 years and they recognised the contribution the team has made to reaching this milestone, by celebrating Ground and Water’s 10th birthday with them, over the weekend 21/22 September 2019.

A 5k corporate Tough Mudder event, resulted in its fair share of bumps and bruises. Then it was off to the 400 year old Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa, where everyone underwent much needed remediation, thanks to isopod floatation, manicures, massages and facials. Well it makes a change from excavation, gas membranes and Topsoil replacement! There was some splashing around in the swimming pool and relaxing in the sauna too. Just what 20 aching bodies needed!

Suitably cleansed, on went the glad rags in time to enjoy champagne and canapes, followed by a speech from Fran and Dipalee about how Ground and Water came to be and what it could have been called  – “Clean Rock” was one bright idea! The speeches were heart felt, touching and funny and more than the odd tear welled up.

To thank the team for its loyalty and hard work, each member was given a gold envelope containing a little something to help them achieve a life-long dream. The bucket lists included: yacht skipper licences, learning new languages and exploring far flung places. This is a testament to how much the directors value their team and the benefit, happy, healthy and motivated employees can bring to the organisation and you, its clients.

A three course meal and drinks, was followed the occasional dance and a group sing along, lasting well into the early hours. It is fair to say that everyone had an absolute ball and a few sore heads the next morning confirmed this!


Guess the number of collective injuries the team suffered as a result of the Tough Mudder. The closest, wins a bottle of champagne!

Send your answers to: [email protected]


Look out for the November issue, to hear about more ways we have been delivering for you.

Ground & Water has reached a landmark in its development. As we enter our eleventh year, we have never been in such a good position to offer you an extensive range of services and exceptional levels of customer service. Your custom and loyal support has put us in this position and for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Contribute to the newsletter – If you have an interesting case study to share, or want to express a view about an industry issue, we would love to hear from you.

Email us for any further information. Or call: 0333 6001221.

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