An underground clean-up operation to recover leaked fuel from a former Shell filling station is nearing completion.
Abbots Park Service Station in Liverpool Road, Chester, closed in late 2011 to allow investigations because of ‘a potential contamination problem’ .
It was later confirmed the aging underground tanks had leaked, leading to contamination of both the ground and groundwater.
Workers drilled 30m into the bedrock prior to installing wells so the affected area could be ‘flushed out’. Then a ground water remediation system began operating under licence from the Environment Agency.
This week the wells are being removed as the agency confirmed the decontamination operation had finally been completed.
An EA spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency has worked with environmental consultants for the past three years providing advice and guidance. The clean-up work on Liverpool Road, Chester was to address contamination in both the ground and groundwater.
“The Environment Agency is satisfied the work carried out reduces contamination, reduces risk and improves the environment.”
Shell previously said work was taking place ‘to recover fuel in the ground’ within the affected area of the site. The site would ultimately be returned to the landlord because Shell’s lease expired in 2015.
It was a condition Shell returned the site as an active filling station upon surrender of the lease requiring the installation of a new forecourt area, underground tanks, steel-framed canopy and surfacing. However, it not known whether this is still the intention.
Shell said a new fuel storage and pipeline system would offer a better lifespan and be double skinned to offer improved protection from leakage and include an in-built monitoring system for the early detection of leaks.
Shell has been asked for a fresh comment on the latest situation.