Hydrogeological and Geologic Investigations
Written by Mr. Brian Oram, PG
Hydrogeological and Geologic Investigations
The Water Research Center and B.F. Environmental Consultants Inc. has been involved in hydrogeological evaluations throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.
Hydrological Evaluations were conducted for evaluating potential wastewater disposal alternatives, developing loading depths and application rates for spray irrigation systems, wetland mitigation projects and water supply development. The facility has been involved in a number of hydrogeological assessments related to:
Water Supply Development
Groundwater Under the Influence
Wastewater Disposal Evaluations
Spray Irrigation Systems
Monitoring Well Installation
Sink Hole Analysis
Wetland Mitigations Studiess
Water Supply Development- Typically these projects include assisting in conducting sanitary surveys, fracture tracing, calculating wellhead protection zones, overseeing water well construction and hydrological testing. The facility will also coordinate "new source" sampling and conducts Microscopic Particulate Analysis or Groundwater Under the Influence Investigations. Our most successful project was the siting of a two 100 gpm production wells using fracture tracing and aerial photo analysis combined with a hydrogeological investigation in an area with median well yields of less than 30 gpm.
Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring- The Center has provided technical assistance in siting, testing, data retrieval, and water quality testing. One focus of the project is to see how water quality changes documented by the sonde can be related to other water quality data, such as: fecal coliform, phosphate, and total suspended solids.
Groundwater Under the Influence- These are typically part of installing or developing a new water supply system or evaluating an existing spring or well source. The process includes a preliminary hydrogeological assessment of the site and the collection of a composite sample of the untreated water. The composite sample is then processed and the number of surface water indicator is enumerated.
Wastewater Disposal Evaluations- These projects typically include a combination of soils and hydrological assessments to determine the most appropriate land-based wastewater disposal system for domestic wastewater or commercial waste. The projects include the evaluation of available soils and geologic data, on-site testing, evaluation of wastewater characteristics, and review of local municipal and state regulations.
Soil Investigations-In the process of conducting a wastewater evaluation. A soil investigation is conducted. This investigation includes a review of available soils surveys, on-site soil profile evaluations, permeability testing, and infiltration capacity testing. The primary goal of this process is to determine the characteristics of the soil and possible limitations to on-lot wastewater disposal.
Spray Irrigation Systems-For the evaluation of slow rate spray irrigation systems, a soil investigation and preliminary hydrological assessment is conducted. During these evaluations, the on-site soils testing is used combined with available meteorological data to develop a site specific water budget. The water budget is used to calculate the allowable treated wastewater loading rates (in/acre/month). The hydrological evaluation is conducted to estimate nitrogen uptake by the vegetation and determine potential impacts on groundwater and/or surface water quality
Monitoring Well Installation- These projects typically include assisting in the installation, design, and testing of monitoring wells. The design phase would include testing drilling to obtain aquifer samples and then sizing the gravel pack and screen size. The installation phase typically includes overseeing the on-site drilling, installation, testing, development, and well construction. In addition to evaluating pumping and recovery tests, the facility has the capability to conduct slug testing.
Sink Hole Analysis- The Center has been involved in limited evaluations related to the presence and influence of sinkholes. Typically, the projects include a review of the available geological mapping data, on-site visits, and documenting streams flows.
Small Sinkholes in Slate Belt Region (PA)
Wetland Mitigations- The facility has been involved in a number of projects related to either wetland mitigation or the use of wetlands as a natural treatment system. For wetland mitigation projects, the facility has assisted in the evaluation of the soil and hydrological conditions, developing site specific water budgets, and determining the depth and nature of the water table. For wetland treatment systems, the facility has been involved in the monitoring and design of natural wetland treatment systems for milkhouse waste, mine drainage, acid mine drainage, wastewater treatment, and rural and urban stormwater runoff.
Infiltration Testing and Assistance with BMP Selection- Conducting Soil Test Pit Evaluations, Mapping Soils and Geological Deposits, Conducting Infiltration and Permeability Testing. Training workshops related to BMP testing and evaluation.
Online Training Courses
LEED- AP / Green Associate Training/
Professional Development Hours Courses
Farm-Agricultural - Rural Business Education
Water, Wastewater, and Stormwater Design, Operation, and Management