The project

Structural Soils, commissioned by BAM Nuttall (part of the TRU Alliance), conducted a ground investigation on a former landfill in Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, UK. The work was done across two phases in 2020 and 2022.

Project background

The site, a former landfill, accepted contaminated waste, including asbestos-containing material. The proposed work included building a railway embankment parallel to the current track and developing a substation and haul road. The ground investigation involved drilling into the landfill cells to investigate the depth of natural material ahead of the proposed development. The triangular-shaped site is about 650 m in length and 350 m wide at the eastern end, its the widest point. It is split into two distinct areas understood to be landfill cells. These areas are separated by a concrete access road that runs north south and bisects the site. Access tracks also run around the site’s perimeter.

Site-specific challenges

The main challenge was asbestos-containing waste in the two cells forming most of the site. Historic records detailed the depths of the cells (13mbgl). Because of the nature of the material, the licensed work required a stringent safe system to protect staff. Additionally, poor site conditions limited access for rigs and equipment. Furthermore, the area’s inclement weather deteriorated the on-site conditions, requiring additional plant and equipment to complete the work.


  • 6 no. Cable Percussion boreholes
  • 20 no. Cable Percussion / Rotary Cored boreholes
  • 4 no. Sonic Boreholes
  • 5 no. Window Samples
  • 53 no. Dynamic Probes
  • Remote gas and groundwater monitoring

To allow the bulk of the work to occur SSL procured CQA supervision to arrange permissions with the Environment Agency, air quality monitoring and used in house drilling resource to complete the work. A safe system of work was devised with a licensed asbestos contractor who provided supervision and guidance when working in the cells. Bunded working areas and decontamination units with a in place washdown area were constructed at each location to allow safe work to be carried out.

The Outcome

Structural Soils has completed several phases of work on time and to budget. Post fieldwork SSL have received very positive feedback, with regards the works completed, results issued and the manner in which we completed our work.

Structural Soils project - Demex ground investigation