The investigation in to the former Walton Gas Works has now been completed and a report documenting the investigation and its findings are below. Residents and landowners have been provided with a copy of the summary report and provided with an opportunity to send questions using the online form. The full report has been reviewed by officers in Environmental Services as well as externally by Public Health England (PHE) and the Environment Agency (EA) . The EA and PHE review responses are below.
Some residents may have questions concerning the soils in their garden. Specialists at PHE have provided advice to assist which is also available below.
For previous information about the investigation please see the archive which contains the desk study report and various resident updates in addition to previous frequently asked questions.
As the report is a comprehensive technical document we have also prepared a summary report.
If you have a question please send it through using the online form.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What advice is there on how I can use and enjoy my garden?
The following do’s and don’ts are provided as good advice by specialists at Public health England for sites where garden soils have been categorised as category 3 .
Continue to enjoy using all of your garden space as you normally would, including grassed areas, decking, patios and other areas of hardstanding.
Reduce dust in your garden by covering bare soil with ground cover, compost, bark or mulch, or plant these bare areas with ground covering plants. This also reduces the risk of any children playing in the garden getting soil on their hands and feet.
Wear gloves when gardening, and avoid soil getting in any cuts etc. Don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards, and before easting or drinking.
Remove and clean your gardening shoes before entering your home.
Let children play with the soil or put it in their mouths (or bite their nails).
Let pets dig holes in your garden.
Take tools, gloves and shoes into your car or home without cleaning them first.
Q: Can I grow fruit or vegetables in my garden?
Yes - If you grow vegetables or fruit in your garden here are a number of things you can do to reduce exposure:
Wash produce thoroughly with water, and where possible remove the outer leaves of green vegetables before they are eaten. Peeling root vegetables acts in the same way as washing to reduce the soil that’s ingrained in the skin.
Dilute possible contamination in the soil by adding clean soil and organic matter (clean compost and manure).
You might want to consider growing vegetables and fruit in containers of clean (imported) soil, or in raised beds (with suitable membrane, commonly referred to as a geotextile membrane, at the base to prevent soil mixing).