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Environmental Assessments & Monitoring Wells
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Environmental Assessments & Monitoring Wells 

In general environmental studies are undertaken in accordance with the guidelines given by the British Drilling Association “Guidance Notes for the Safe Drilling of Landfills and Contaminated Land”.  Where a study is combined with a geotechnical investigation the requirements of British Standards BS 5930: 1981 “Code of practise for Site Investigations” and BS 1377:1990 “Methods of test for Soils for Civil Engineering purposes” would also apply.  


A list on major environmental projects undertaken by National Laboratory in the UAE is indicted below.








Hamriya Condensate Terminal, Sharjah

BP Sharjah Limited


Installation of 6 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling


Eppco Terminals 1&2

Jebel Ali Port, Dubai



Installation of 10 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling


Nad Al Hamar Landfill Site, Dubai



Soil and Water Sampling, 10 boreholes


Dubai International Airport/Storage Tank Farm



Installation of 6 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling


Various Locations Within Jebel Ali Port



Water Sampling from 10 boreholes , Drilling by Solid Stem Auger


Star Energy Facility, Jebel Ali Port, Dubai

Star Energy /EIC


Installation of 6 no. 2" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling


ENOC Storage Tank Farm, Fujairah Port



Installation of 4 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling.


Factory at Hamriya Free Zone, Sharjah

Al Maha Environmental Consultants


Installation of 4 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling.


IRM Storage Tank Farm, Fujairah Port



Installation of 6 no. 4" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling


Hamriya Condensate Terminal, Sharjah

BP Sharjah Limited/ URS


Installation of 52 no. 2" Monitoring Wells and Soil Sampling. Drilling by Hollow Stem Auger.


The majority of the environmental projects we have been involved with to date in UAE have been concerned with the sampling of soil and groundwater and installation of monitoring wells. Monitoring wells of 100 mm to 200 mm diameter have been drilled to depths of up to 16.5m depth, using either cable percussion or top drive rotary drill rigs. Locations have varied from operational factories and petrochemical plants, oil storage tanks, oil refineries, landfill sites to remote desert oil fields.


Typically the monitoring wells have been constructed using 50 mm or 100 mm nominal diameter locally manufactured uPVC screen and casing. However imported HDPE well screen and casing also can be used, particularly where petrocarbon contamination is expected.


Drilling methods used have varied from conventional cable percussion boring, hollow stem auger and solid stem auger drilling.


Soil samples have been obtained from boreholes using conventional standard penetration test “split spoon” samplers either 0.5m or 1m long. The 1.0m long sample obtained is retained within a clear plastic liner within the sampling tool, which can either be split on site for examination and / or sub-sampling, or can be sealed and capped for transportation to the laboratory. With this system a drop hammer (or SPT hammer) is used to simultaneously drive the sampler tube into the soil.


“SPT” split spoon sampler

Top 101 mm dia casing

Centre 86 mm dia sampler

Bottom 84 mm dia. sample tube and retainer.


It is recognised that with environmental studies the introduction of contaminants from the rigs and tools etc. has to be prevented at all times. Similarly cross contamination between test points has to be avoided. Before starting a contract all the equipment used is checked to ensure that there are no oil or fuel leaks. The equipment, tools and casings are also subjected to cleaning using a hot water pressure washer. This process is repeated between each borehole or test pit.


Where necessary cleaning areas have been established on sites, including the provision of a power supply for the pressure washer. Other cleaning procedures can be adopted where necessary, under the direction of the client’s or engineer’s direction.


Where petro carbon contamination is suspected vegetable oils and greases are used to lubricate tool joints etc. Drip trays can be fitted under rigs in case of any leaks from the power plant or hydraulic lines. Re-fuelling and maintenance would either be carried out off site or in a designated area.


National Laboratory, Dubai Branch, does not undertake analyses for contaminants but maintains contacts with specialist laboratories in the UAE where such work can be performed. These laboratories would supply the necessary sample containers, which, while on site, would be kept in cool boxes packed with crushed ice. Wherever possible samples are transported to the laboratory on the same day as sampling. Where this is not possible the samples would be stored in the cool  boxes in an air-conditioned environment.