It is a statutory requirement that measures are taken to protect groundwater from potential pollution sources. Burial practices give rise to potential sources of pollution and are covered by these regulations. As such, we strongly recommend to all our clients that a Groundwater Risk Assessment is undertaken. Whether an extension to an existing cemetery or the development of a new cemetery, CDS advises early engagement with the Environment Agency to obtain approval of a site for burials. This ensures that a suitable site is identified at an early stage, saving valuable public funds and reducing the timescales of finding and developing a new site.
CDS provides its clients with comprehensive groundwater risk assessments (Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3) which meet the specification and criteria set out by the Environment Agency for existing cemeteries, cemetery extensions and new cemeteries.
At the very earliest stage, CDS offer a free Preliminary Risk Assessment in order to establish if a site is likely to achieve approval under current EA guidelines. This assessment will also determine whether there will be further costs in order to address any possible mitigation measures during design and construction stages.
CDS offers specialist advice on risk mitigation measures. The Environment Agency has referred in general terms within its booklet on ‘Assessing the Groundwater Pollution Potential of Cemetery Developments’ to the use of an ‘options appraisal’ which may include ‘reduction of the hazard through new technology, procedures or investment’. There is no objection in principle to the use of methods of the type suggested where it is necessary to mitigate risk, provided that such methods are used in conjunction with a fully considered tiered risk assessment.