Simon Talbot, the founder and managing director of GGS, was previously the Director of the GMGU; a local authority technical support unit based at the University of Manchester. In this role Simon carried out teaching, training and research activities on contaminated land issues with a particular focus on the monitoring and risk assessment of ground-gas contamination. In 2002 the GMGU was running a series of ground-gas training events for local authority regulators and Simon invited Dr Stephen Boult from the University of Manchester as a guest lecturer to discuss gas sensor technology.
Steve’s research interests in environmental systems and high frequency monitoring and Simon’s interest in ground-gas led to discussions on the limitations of conventional ground-gas monitoring and the start of collaboration in developing continuous ground-gas monitoring techniques. Steve, through his university technology transfer spin-off company, Salamander, developed prototype field equipment that was trialled and tested by Simon’s team on a range of sites. Initially, the equipment comprised sensors installed in a standard monitoring well linked to a data logger located in an adjacent weather-proof box. Although the equipment was bulky and cumbersome to use, the quality of the data was such that Salamander, with additional advice from Simon on practical aspects, embarked on a design project over the next four years to develop the equipment to fit inside a standard borehole and the prototype GasClam® was created.
In 2006 Steve and Simon put together a consortium bid for DTI Technology Programme funding for a project to devise and validate an improved risk prediction methodology using the GasClam®. Dr. Peter Morris was appointed as the post-doctoral researcher for the two year project. In 2007, Salamander won the Innovative Technology (Environmental Technologies) prize at the Northwest Business Environment Awards. The success of the DTI project resulted in GasClam® being brought to market and the establishment of Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd.
Conventional ground-gas monitoring data is at best a tabulated collection of snap-shots in time. As such it is susceptible to huge degrees of error with the worst case either not captured at all or poorly characterised. To compensate for this regulators will usually require extended periods of ‘spot monitoring’ and highly conservative protection measures that are based on generic risk assessment tools and standardised characteristic situations.
In comparison, continuous ground-gas data provides the full range of ground-gas behaviours for a given monitoring period. Nothing is hidden and the worst case situation is clearly identified.
The GGS DataPack™ reproduces all the continuous data in a visually accessible format that clearly and unambiguously identifies the gas regime and the factors affecting it. For the regulator who is used to receiving lengthy contaminated land reports with all the detail buried in tens of pages of small print tables, the graphical presentation in the GGS DataPack™ is a breath of fresh air.
Consequently, in a few moments, the regulator can grasp the key issues, be convinced by compelling lines of evidence and accept the recommendations.
GasClam® is a beautifully designed piece of equipment. It is designed to fit inside a standard ground-gas monitoring well and continuously monitor both the ground-gases and the environmental parameters that influence those gases. However, it is the GasClam® data and the confidence that can be placed on its interpretation that is valuable.
Ground-gas monitoring contracts usually include three or more boreholes. If you wish to buy GasClam® you will require at least three units to be able to provide a comprehensive service that will satisfy regulators. If the money is not available for that scale of capital investment, the hire option may appear attractive. However, by hiring the equipment you will be liable for the replacement costs if the equipment is damaged or stolen. In addition, you will be responsible for the necessary servicing, to replace batteries, water-stripping filters and seals. Depending on the site conditions, gas moisture and ambient temperature, this may be needed as frequently as every two weeks. The servicing involves removing the top and lower sections of the instrument and this should be carried out by suitably trained staff to ensure ‘O’ rings are not damaged and connections are gas tight.
Using Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd gives you the following benefits:
The following pages include news articles, videos, guidance notes and white papers on a range of ground gas related topics which we hope you will find of interest. Please browse through but if you can’t find something on your particular issue of interest, we’d be very pleased to hear from you so we can put that right.
GasClam® is designed to fit inside a standard ground-gas monitoring well and continuously monitor both ground-gases and environmental parameters that influence those gases.