Methane gas incident in Workington
Updated 4:45pm 18 September 2018
Residents of four houses in Pilgrim Street, Workington have been advised that they can return to their homes. The residents had been advised to evacuate on 14 September due to localised levels of naturally forming methane.
As a precautionary measure, the Council will continue to monitor the levels within the properties and residents are being advised to continue to ventilate the houses. However, officers are reassured that the concentrations of methane in the properties has fallen to a negligible level.
Also as a precautionary measure the Council is advising that one property in Pilgrim Street remains vacant while tests continue. However, levels of methane in the property are very low.
Having taken advice from Northern Gas Networks, the Council is now also monitoring the levels of naturally forming methane in and around a property in Harrington Road, Workington, where it backs onto Pilgrim Street.
The Council has been in contact with all residents directly affected and is not advising the further evacuation of any properties on Harrington Road or the wider local area at this moment. This is because the levels of naturally occurring methane remains very localised and at low and safe levels.
The Council apologises for the inconvenience caused to those directly affected by the disruption and thank them for their cooperation. The Council will continue to give them full support during the ongoing monitoring.
If anyone needs to speak to the Council in an emergency on this issue they should ring 0303 123 1702 (24hours).
More information and FAQs
Why has this decision been taken?
We have been working with Nothern Gas Networks who have been monitoring levels of naturally forming methane gas in the local area. We identified very localised levels of gas in some of the properties which gave some concern, and so as a precautionary measure the Council took the decision on 14 September to advise that residents in the affected properties evacuate their homes.
Where is the gas coming from?
The exact reason for the high levels of naturally forming methane has yet to be determined. However, this is something we are working with partner agencies to find out as soon as possible. At the moment we are managing the methane to a safe level through ventilation of the properties.
Is Victoria Junior School to open?
Cumbria County Council has worked with the school head teacher and a detailed gas assessment of the school and external grounds has been undertaken which concluded the school and external school grounds to be safe. As an additional precautionary re-assurance measure, ongoing gas monitoring equipment is deployed within the school.
The school headteacher is aware of the issue relating to the adjacent residential properties, however given ventilation controls are in place for these properties, the school has been deemed safe and will remain open