Environmental Sciences, Hydrogeological,

Environmental Engineering, Applied Earth Science, Research Project Summaries

Water Research Center

Research Projects and Consulting
Projects in Hydrogeology

Mr. Brian Oram, PG
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.


Environmental Education Programs
Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Groundwater Under the Direct Influence Investigations (GWUDI)
Harveys Lake and other Lake and Watershed Water Quality Monitoring Program
Filtration Plant Performance Evaluations
Puremax Inc
Reclamation, Acid Mine Drainage, GIS, Environmental Assessments
Victoria Arms Townhouses - SWIP Study
Hydrogeological Investigations
Aresenic Project (2002 - 2010)
Smith Paint Project (2004)
Stormwater BMP Training and Testing (2003 - 2010)
Crescent Lake Watershed Assessment (2003 - 2005)
Lake Carey Watershed Study (2003 - 2004)
Roamingwood Wellhead Delineation and Capture Zone Analysis (2004 - 2005)

Other Projects Not Highlighted

Groundwater Recharge, Rain Water Capture, and Rain Water Use Project in India
Geological Interpretation and Assessment using Fracture Trace and Aquifer Analysis
Spring Water Development Project
Soils Testing, BMP Design, and Land-Based Wastewater Evaluations
Filtration Plant and New Source Sample MPA and Giardia Testing

Featured Research - Looking for Funding

On-going Research in Phosphate and Arsenic Removal.
Integration of GIS and Watershed and Real-Time Monitoring.
Integration of GIS and Soil Science for Groundwater Recharge Projects.
Wellhead Protection Strategies and Wellhead Protection Zone Delineation.
Groundwater Data Analysis by Zip Code Using GIS (internal water quality database)

Environmental Education Program

The Center  has participated in developing and conducting training programs and courses for students, teachers, environmental groups, environmental professionals, and the public in a variety of forums. The Center has assisted or developed workshops, educational material, laboratory/field training exercises, and conducted hands-on training workshops. Workshop topics include: environmental monitoring, sampling and testing, non-point source pollution, development of monitoring plans, quality control and assurance programs, water well construction and testing, and drinking water testing and treatment.  Recently, the Center has assisted with a number of teacher training programs in the areas of soil science, water quality, water quality testing, stream assessment, groundwater, well construction, watershed and pollutions studies, and developing training programs for students from grade 6 to 12.  We recently participated in a teacher training program at the Ratchford Field Station and the Pocono Environmental Education Center (Camp Peec).  We also have groundwater and surfacewater monitoring programs for Carbon, Monroe, Luzerne, and Pike Counties in Pennsylvania and have conducted education outreach programs in Carbon, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Susquehanna, Northampton, and Lehigh Counties, Pennsylvania.

Homeowner Outreach Program - Workshops throughout NEPA

Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development
Mr. Brian Oram, P.G. and Mr. William Toothill, members of the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Wilkes University, will be making presentations at the Low Impact Development and Storm Water Management Seminar in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania on April 20.

Roamingwood Water and Sewer Authority Presentation and Workshops related to the developing a groundwater and sourcewater protection plan.
Wilkes University Center for Environmental Quality, B.F Environmental Consultants, Inc, Wilkes University GIS and Remote Sensing Center, PA Rural Water Association, PADEP, Hideout POA, and the Roamingwood Sewer and Water Association develop a detailed hydrological characterization of the region, conducted a groundwater capture zone analysis, and compiled this information into a Source Water Protection Plan. With respect to this project, the work included a geological and hydrological characterization of the region, reviewing pumping test data, calculating aquifer properties, developing GIS data-layers, developing a groundwater model to determine the potential extent of the capture zone, and potential sources of contamination that may impact the facility. During this project a number of Wilkes University students were actively involved with collecting field data, preparing GIS data, and preparing maps and outreach documents.

Newton Lake - Private Well Owner Outreach Program - Groundwater Education, Lake Ecology, and Well Construction and Testing
Program including conducting analysis of private wells, preparing summary reports, and developing a draft lake and watershed monitoring plan and laboratory QC/QA Plan.

Technical Support and Education Resource for the Carbon County Groundwater Guardians and the Carbon County Environmental Education Center - Children's Groundwater Day was the featured event and we will be attending the Carbon County Fair.

NOTE: We are available for public education programs in the areas of land-based wastewater disposal, groundwater education, wellhead protection, private well owner training and education.

Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Groundwater Under the Direct Influence Investigations (GWUDI)

Recent changes in the PADEP Drinking Water regulations have required water suppliers using "springs" or "groundwater sources" to evaluate drinking water sources for the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium and determine susceptibility of systems to surface water contamination. The susceptibility to surfacewater contamination is based on the distribution of the surface water indicators, an evaluation of hydrogeological setting, and well / spring construction. Because the Center for Environmental Quality and the Environmental Engineering and Engineering Department facility and staff includes three licensed professional geologists, the Center has been involved in over 400 GWUDI evaluations and has assisted in the siting, construction, design and development of both community and non-community water supplies, water wells, and springs. Evaluations have been conducted throughout Northeastern and Southeastern Pennsylvania and as far away as up-state New York. Currently, the Center for Environmental Quality is one of only a few facilities in the state of Pennsylvania that conducts this type of analysis.  The GWUDI protocol is similar to the procedure to evaluate Water Filtration Plants.

MPA - Microscopic Particulate Analysis and MET - Microscopic Evaluation Technique are used to evaluate the potential for influence. 

Harveys Lake and Watershed Monitoring

During the period from 1993 to 1995, the Center was involved with the initial monitoring and investigation at Harvey's Lake in Luzerne County. The investigation was part of a Phase I Diagnostic Feasibility Study that was funded by the EPA. The Center was responsible for the implementation of a laboratory QC/QA program, training field technicians, and conducting laboratory analysis. Since the completion of the study, the Center has being working on the implementation of a groundwater and surface water monitoring and assessment program for Harveys Lake.

We have also been involved in the monitoring of Crescent Lake, Lake Carey, Lake Wallenpaupaupack, Susquehanna River, Toby Creek, Solomans Creek, Hunlock Creek, Lackawanna River and number of large watershed monitoring projects in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  

During the period for 2002 - 2006, we have conducted limited watershed and subwatershed monitoring related to stormwater monitoring projects in this watershed and conducted multiple Private Well Owner Testing and Outreach Programs.

Filtration Plant Performance Evaluations

As part of the new regulations regarding the filtration of surface water supplies, a protocol was developed to evaluate the performance of filtration plants. The protocol is similar to the method used for "GWUDI" investigations, but the ranking and interpretation is based on a combination of the system configuration, source water, and degree of particle removal. Because of the background of the laboratory Director, the laboratory has been involved in the evaluation of several pilot filtration and full-scale filtration plants in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   For more information about this protocol, please visit the Filtration Plant Performance Evaluation Website.

Puremax Inc.

The Environmental Quality Center has conducted a preliminary assessment of a new water and wastewater treatment device. Based on information provided by the manufacturer, the device has a wide variety of applications from disinfection, preventing or inhibiting scale formation, and possibly odor control. Bench scale testing has been initiated and further applications are being developed and tested.  The preliminary results indicated that the unit significantly reduced the redox potential of water water and a decrease in the concentration of total coliform bacteria was documented.

Barley Creek Brewing Company

Barley Creek Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in Tannersville, PA that opened in 1996. Prior to construction of the facility, Wilkes University assisted with the preliminary soils, hydrological, and water quality evaluation of the site. In addition, the facility provided guidance in the development of environmental assessments that needed to be conducted to meet the requirements of the local municipality and PADEP. The scope of the most recent project is to provide assistance with the operation and management of an "innovative technology" to denitrify the wastewater generated by the facility, assist in the preparation of NPDES reports, and conduct monthly and quarterly water quality analysis of the treatment system and monitoring wells.

Victoria Arms Townhouses

Assisted in the on-site training and laboratory analysis of water quality data collected in the process conducting a SWIP Investigation of two on-site water wells servicing the Victoria Arms Townhouses in Kresegeville, PA. The protocol was a combination of a 6 month daily monitoring program and a Groundwater Under the Direct Influence Investigations (GWUDI). During the monitoring phase, water samples tested for pH, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, total coliform, and fecal coliform.

Arsenic Removal Project

Engelhard Corporation, Iselin, NJ,  B.F. Environmental Consultants, PA, and Wilkes University partnered to conduct an evaluation of the capability of a manufactured material to remove arsenic from drinking water.  The project was a preliminary assessment to estimate reaction rates, kinetics, and exchange capacities for the manufactured material.    The research project assisted Engelhard Corporation in selecting a product line and bringing that product line to market.  The research team is continuing to work on arsenic removal using other substances.  Research is on-going.

Smith Paint Project

The Center assisted in the evaluation of the relationship between the coatings manufactured by Smith Specialty Paints and the water quality related issues. The primary goal was to make recommendations regarding make-up water quality.  The webpage with few photos - Smith Paint

Stormwater Best Managment Pratices - Soil Training and Testing, BMP Selection, and BMP Conceptual Design

Conducting soils testing, hydraulic conductivity testing, infiltration testing, workshops in hydrogeology and hydrology, evaluating the performance of BMPs, and BMP selection.   The data is used to develop conceptual designs and implementation of bioretention, infiltration, and other non-structural controls to aid in managing runoff.

Crescent Lake Watershed Assessment (2003 - 2005)

Crescent Lake  -  Small Watershed Assessment in Susquehanna County conducted in cooperation and partnership with Cottagers Association, The Pennsylvania State University, and Borton-Lawson Engineering.  The Center for Environmental Quality provide laboratory support, development of QA/QC plans, technical review of lake and stream monitoring data, developed recommendations for lake management, assisted in the development of the lake management plan, and trained volunteer monitors.

Lake Carey Watershed Study (2003 - 2004)

Lake, Pond, and Watershed Assessment conducted in cooperation and partnership with the Cottagers Association and F.X. Browne, Inc.  The Center for Environmental Quality provided most of the laboratory support, development of QA/QC plans, and conduct a Private Well Owner Testing, Monitoring, and Outreach Program.  Lake Carey is a 254-acre lake with a watershed area of 4,173 acres located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. It consists of a 183-acre upper lake and a 71-acre lower pond. The upper lake is a natural glacial lake while the lower pond was created to power a sawmill.  (Report - Lake Carey, pdf)

Roamingwood Wellhead Delineation and Capture Zone Analysis (2004 - 2005)

Wilkes University Center for Environmental Quality, Wilkes University GIS and Remote Sensing Center, B.F. Environmental Consultants, and the Roamingwood Sewer and Water Association to develop a detailed hydrological characterization of the site and a Groundwater Capture Zone Analysis to determine the Zone of Interception and Zone of Contribution for the Groundwater Well Field that services the development.  Work included geological and hydrological characterization of the site, reviewing pumping test data, calculating aquifer properties, developing GIS data-layers, developing a groundwater model to determine the potential extent of the capture zone, and potential sources of contamination that may impact the facility. 

Online Training Courses

New Online Training Courses for Professional  - http://online-training-courses.info/
LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/ Professional Development Hours Courses

Alternative Energy and Green Technologies
 Energy Auditor Training Program
 Health and Safety Training - Chemical Handling and Disposal
 Engineering, Construction, and Electrical Training Programs
 Farm-Agricultural - Rural Business Education

 Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment,
and Stormwater Design, Operation, and Management


For More information, please contact:

 Attn: Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist (PG)
Water Research Center
B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc.
15 Hillcrest Drive
Dallas, PA 18612

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