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Spill from Neighbour

Client: Insurance


A spill of oil occurred at a neighbouring property and released oil from this spill which flowed through the boundary fence and through soils of the subject property towards the dwelling.


It was clear that the spill of oil had occurred from the neighbour’s oil tank. Kerosene heating oil from a spill had flowed down gradient over the neighbour’s drive, dissolving tarmac en route, before flowing through the boundary fence and impacting the soils behind the small retaining wall and blocks of this retaining wall. It had reached at least as far as the garden soils behind a further retaining wall 2 metres from the dwelling.

Intrusive investigation found soils impacted by oil soils to be approximately 1.5 metres below ground over a narrow area from the boundary to the retaining wall close to the dwelling. No odours of oil were detected in the dwelling.

Risks and Remediation

With or without remediation at the subject property, there was a risk of further migration of oil from oil impacted soils at the neighbouring property. It was therefore agreed that remediation work at both properties should be undertaken in tandem.

Two fence panels were removed. The oil impacted tarmac and soils at the neighbouring property were excavated. To restore the amenity of the garden of the subject property and to reduce the risk of oil migration to the dwelling, the oil impacted blocks were removed and soils were excavated between the boundary and the retaining wall closest to the dwelling.

The exposed retaining wall near the dwelling was scrubbed with surfactant and absorbent pads were used to catch the released oil.

Excavated soil and absorbent pads were sent for disposal to a licensed facility.


Excavations were back filled with clean imported soil and back fill material as appropriate. The small retaining wall was rebuilt and the garden was turfed. A new section of tarmac drive was put down at the neighbouring property and replacement fence panels installed.


Validation was by field monitoring and submission of soil samples for analysis at a UKAS accredited laboratory.