GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION systems firm Cadac is helping Huntingdonshire District Council Environmental Health Services identify contaminated land in its region.
Identifying contaminated land and approving sites for safe development involves studying historical land use and environmental data, often from maps drawn to different projections than current Ordnance Survey versions.
Cadac was able to manipulate the historical maps to allow the information to be overlaid on present day maps.
GIS allows maps and aerial photographs to be downloaded.Sites can be searched using addresses or grid references and there is access to information such as the location of historical buildings.
Other enhancements include input and output interfaces for mathematical modelling of air pollution dispersion from transport and industry.The system can also show areas where radon gas may be a problem.
The council is now able to assign a risk ranking to sites depending on historical use and a sensitivity rating for those that might be affected by contamination.
UK local authorities have until 1 July to produce a strategy on how they are going to deal with contaminated land under the new Environmental Protection Act Part IIa.
Cadac says that while most authorities use GIS to help them identify contaminated sites, few are sufficiently familiar with the software to take advantage of the benefits.