Drilling monitoring wells into abandoned mine workings

Igne is working with Dunelm and installing a monitoring well to prevent catastrophic contamination from an abandoned coal mine.

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Igne is once again working with friends at Dunelm Geotechnical & Environmental Ltd

We previously worked with Dunelm for Durham County Council and drilled into abandoned mine workings to harness geothermal energy

This time we’re on site together in Knowsley, Merseyside, and are once again drilling into abandoned mine workings – but for an altogether different purpose.

Installing a monitoring well to prevent catastrophic contamination from an abandoned coal mine 

We are working with Dunelm at the former Cronton Colliery to install a monitoring well. 

Cronton Colliery opened in 1916 and employed over 900 people at its peak, annually producing more than 350,000 tonnes of coal before closing in 1984.

We are installing a well for monitoring the water levels and the water quality in the Higher Florida coal seam at the mine.

The environmental risks and opportunities posed by former mines

Abandoned mines present a truly complex dichotomy; as well offering an unrivalled source of sustainable geothermal energy, being part of our national heritage and an important reserve of biodiversity, they are also one of the most significant pollution threats in Britain. 

As the Cronton mine was abandoned many years ago, it has filled with ground water that is now very highly contaminated from all the historic mining activities.  As the water rises it has the potential to contaminate aquifers higher in the strata sequence.

This could have devastating consequences – which is why a monitoring borehole will now allow the Environment Agency (EA) to keep an exceptionally close eye on the situation.

Using monitoring wells like this one, the EA monitors and can intercept water that is still rising in closed mines before it causes pollution or gets into our drinking water supplies.

Combining our Igne’s drilling expertise with Dunelm’s geotechnical proficiency to protect the environment 

With our extensive experience of drilling into the extremely complex challenges that abandoned mines present, combined with Dunelm’s focus on geotechnical and environmental services, we’re able to support the Environment Agency and its partners to protect natural water sources.