The problem

698,000 litres of oil was discovered to be missing from a storage depot on the south coast of England, 500m from the beach and 30m from a canal.

The solution

RAW was responsible for all aspects of the emergency response and the longer term spill clean-up contractor, including:

  • Containment
  • Skimming of free phase oil (NAPL) from groundwater
  • Total fluids recovery
  • Oil recovery using product only pumps
  • Risk and natural attenuation modelling of residual contamination


  • Specialised hydrogeolological techniques were used to enhance the NAPL recovery
  • Creating cone of depression (within plume area) to draw in NAPL
  • Mounding of disposed groundwater to prevent further migration

Benefits and Savings

  • 80% (523,000 litres) of the lost oil was recovered over the nine month recovery period