Asda Express bramley

Asda and environmental firm EPS continue to work hard to sort the historical fuel leak from the Express site in Bramley, Surrey, which has affected local drinking water.

Asda acquired the site from the Co-Op back in October 2022. However, due to the requirements of the Competition and Markets Authority, the site wasn’t released to Asda until October 2023.

During the period of transition to Asda’s ownership pressure tests on the pipelines did not highlight any issues. But during remediation works at the site in February 2024, Asda uncovered the damaged fuel line.

The fuel line appears to have been damaged by large equipment (potentially a digger bucket or drill/saw) which is thought to have happened in 2016, when some works were carried out at the site. Whoever caused the damage tried to repair it at the time. The repair failed at some point and leaks occurred.

Asda has been using the services of EPS and in particular its Pump & Treat system, which has been operational since the start of April. So far, over 100ltrs of neat petrol have been recovered. And 125,000ltrs of contaminated water has been pumped from the ground and cleaned to Thames Water Standards. Groundwater levels remain extremely high from the very wet winter, despite the pumping.

The EPS remedial system will continue to pump and treat groundwater to recover fuel. The stream in Bramley has improved notably, despite ongoing heavy rain in the spring. EPS will continue to maintain its booms and observe conditions.

An Asda spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work closely with Thames Water and other partners to address the issues we inherited after acquiring the Bramley PFS site. We recognise the impact this has had on the residents of Bramley and share their frustrations. We are committed to working with all parties to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

The Asda Express was due to re-open on June 3 but due to the works that are now being carried out by Thames Water, will remain closed for the time being. The Thames Water website said the remediation system will continue to pump for a 12-month period, with ongoing monitoring to assess the success of recovery.

Thames Water said the pipe replacement works that it is doing will be completed by June 21. In a statement it said: “We have started working 24/7 on this in order to bring forward timeframes. Once the pipework is completed, there needs to be a series of three consecutive clear water quality tests before the restrictions can be lifted. As customers would expect, we must be led by the testing results, and only when they are consistently clear will we be able to lift the restrictions.”

The company said the costs of the current works would not be added to customers’ bills.