Demolishing the buildings
Having made the site secure so that members of the public couldn't get onto it, the next stage was to demolish the buildings which were falling into disrepair and dangerous and to investigate the extent of the ground pollution.
The team knew they were likely to come across chemicals and pollutants but didn't know precisely where chemicals were stored and when in the demolition process they were likely to come across them.
Each part of each building on the site had to be approached as a separate task. The team had to carry out individual risk assessments for each part of each building and systematically work their way through to demolish them.
It took up to six months to demolish an individual building and the whole demolition process took four years, from1999 to 2003.
Every tank, pipe and sump had to be emptied and cleaned of any chemical residues and rainwater. Most of the waste water was treated on site using a water treatment plant that was created for the job. Very polluted liquids or sludges were treated off site.
The team tackled thousands of gallons of tar and heavily contaminated fluids in 300 tanks and 200 sumps.