Sludge Clearance of Underground Storage Chambers

The task for MTS was to remove 4500 cubic metres of hazardous sludge from multi-layered underground sewage treatment storage tanks before the start of a flagship construction project in East London. Limited access made it impossible to clearly assess the volume and characteristics of the waste beforehand.

As work progressed the undertaking became increasingly challenging. Large deposits of more viscous sludge at lower levels and difficult access created a potentially dangerous atmosphere for confined space work.

MTS used new techniques including the use of full umbilical cord breathing apparatus and chemical suits. With continuous review of risk assessments and method statements, the team also found interim sludge storage arrangements as well as new points for final disposal.

Using expertise, ingenuity and specialist equipment MTS safely removed 22000 cubic metres of hazardous waste. Our crew also subsequently assisted in filling the empty chambers with 32000 cubic metres of foam concrete so that the main construction works could begin without delay.

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