Two Reports Concerning an Incident of Gas Seepage at a Building Site in the Northern Part of the City of Yanbu, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

SGS-DF-2001-4 Timothy S. Hayes, M. John Roobol, Mohammed H. Al-Rehaili, Abdullah A. Showail, and Steven J. Sutley
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In August 1999/Jumadi al Awwal 1420, gas seepage from the ground was reported at a building site on  the northern outskirts of Yanbu city. The gas was causing nausea from construction workers. The site was visited and a pungent gas detected along with a yellow solid precipitated on the concrete foundations of a partly constructed villa. The site was partly excavated and the gas and yellow precipitate tested.  Ammonia together with the pesticide Malathion and Fenitrothion were identified. Local residents reported the presence of the gas for 9 to 15 years previously. It was concluded that the pesticides were dumped on the site when it was open ground between 9 and 15 years previously.  Remedial action was the excavation of all the contaminated ground from an area measuring 7 by 8 meters to a maximum depth of 2.15 m (when the gas could no longer be detected). The contaminated ground was taken away and spread out in a thin layer for the contaminants to dispense safely. The excavation was filled with clean soil and construction resumed.



Hayes, T.S., Roobol, M. John, Al-Rehaili, M.H., Showail, A.A., and Sutley, S.J., 2001, Two reports concerning an incident of gas seepage at a building site in the northern part of the city of Yanbu, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Geological Survey  Data-File Report  SGS-DF-2001-4, 12 p., 7 figs., 1 table, 3 apps.