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soil inventory

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Reconnaissance Soil Mapping


  • Detailed soil investigations to plan sewage and stormwater facilities
  • Delineation of wetlands and waters
  • Colluvial and alluvial soils
  • Karst topography (limestone sinkholes and depressions)
  • Land application of biosolids (stabilized sludge)
  • Seasonal high water table, bedrock depths, and drainage classes for planning structures
  • Land reclamation or remediation potential
  • Source materials: clay (low permeability soils for dams, liners, caps) and cover soil (remediation topsoil and subsoil to support vegetation)
  • GPS inventory and plotting of all features to AutoCAD geo-referenced plans (TopCon Mobile GMS-2 Pro, and Thales Mobile Mapper)

Land development planning without a soil inventory is a wasted effort! One cannot wish for appropriate soils to appear because a lot has been drawn on a plan. The soils have been part of the landscape for thousands of years. Regulated wetlands and waters are realities that will not go away. Preliminary soil investigations and mapping of soil and site characteristics enable optimization in land use and informed decision-making.

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sewage systems

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Sewage System Planning & Testing


Don’t settle for an elevated sand mound bed, simply because the SEO established a suitable site. There are many design options in Pennsylvania. We can help you to consider all conventional and alternate system types as well as placement options. Starting your project with a consulting soil scientist could eliminate the need to pay SEO and excavator fees twice.

 

DOWNLOAD OUR GRAPHIC OF SEPTIC SYSTEM CHOICES IN PENNSYLVANIA !

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We specialize in creative placement and “shoe-horn fit” designs for septic systems!
We do not give up!

 

  • Preliminary soil mapping, ahead of your Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO) visit
  • Official test pit documentation with your SEO and/or DEP
  • Staking, locating, and plotting each proposed absorption area (labeled stakes, laser level & taping, GPS survey, permanent buried steel at corners for future reference)
  • Percolation testing, if required
  • Soil morphological assessment reports for alternate system types such as drip dispersal, and shallow limiting zone systems
  • Permeability testing, hydrogeological studies for larger systems
  • Small Flow Treatment Facility Permits (stream discharge)

ONE-LOT RESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS

  • New & Repair

COMMERCIAL SYSTEMS

  • High BOD (biological oxygen demand) such as food establishments.
  • Large flows, & multiple uses.

COMMUNITY SYSTEMS

  • Decentralized wastewater treatment (off the “big Pipe” sewer) – Beneficial for regional groundwater recharge.
  • Subdivisions & Land Development:

THE LAND DEVELOPMENT TRAIN

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PLANNING MODULES:

Components 1 and 2 for Subdivision and Land Development
Component 3s Small Flow Treatment Facility

We “coach” municipal officials to process your permit application or planning module within

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SEWAGE SYSTEM DESIGNS


We design all conventional and alternate sewage system types allowed in Pennsylvania.

  • Our design plans meet engineering standards. Our plans are colorful, user-friendly, technically complete, to-scale, and include top and side view profiles, derived from real field stake-outs.

DOWNLOAD OUR GRAPHIC OF SEPTIC SYSTEM CHOICES IN PENNSYLVANIA !

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  • REPAIRS: For qualified repair sites that do not fit all of the Chapter 73 rules, we apply “Technical Decision-Making” (TDM) and “Best Technical Guidance” (BTG) protocols to design “Site-Specific” and “Experimental” systems. When sufficient suitable soils cannot be found to provide a solution, we can pursue a permit for a Small Flow Treatment Facility (stream discharge). On rare occasion, lots can be prepared for future sewage systems using our “controlled soil fill” program, under the supervision of a Certified Professional Soil Scientist.
  • We offer construction oversight. Following construction, we offer operation, maintenance, monitoring, and reporting through our Mountain Wastewater Management division.

Do not be persuaded to dump soil on a failed site for a 4-year wait!!

Talk to us first!

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SEWAGE SYSTEM O&M


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Pennsylvania Home Improvement

Contractor Number PA 015468

  • Operation & Maintenance (“O&M”) Inspectors on Wasterwater Treatment Systems.
  • On-Site Sewage Systems: Residential, Commercial, Large-Flow, Community.
  • Inspection, Maintenance, Monitoring & Reporting.
  • Licensed Operators of Wastewater Treatment Facilities.

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Why wouldn’t you want to protect your investment in your sophisticated wastewater treatment system? We maintain cars, and furnaces, appliances, and swimming pools to prevent disasters.Why not sewage systems?

Your real estate value may depend on this!

Manufacturer trained & authorized to service:

American Manufacturing Company “PercRite” drip dispersal systems.
Puraflo and EcoFlo peat biofilter systems
Jet and Norweco aerobic treatment units (ATU’s)
Aquaworx timers (Used with Eljen Systems)

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GEOLOGICAL AND HYDROGEOLOGIC SERVICES


  • Noncoal Mining Permits and General Permits – we provide geological, hydrogeological, and environmental investigation and documentation, with oversight by a mining engineer.
  • Permits for Land application of Biosolids
  • Carbonate (limestone) geology investigations for land development
  • Interpretation of landscapes and aerial photographs for karst topography (limestone sinkholes and depressions)
  • Subsurface investigation for sinkholes, depressions, and fractures
  • Hydrogeologic investigations for community or large volume sewage disposal systems, including groundwater mounding, nitrate plume analysis, hydraulic conductivity
  • Groundwater monitoring programs, monitoring well installations, boring logs, water sampling and lab analysis.
  • Groundwater and surface water quality and quantity assessments.

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storm-water

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STORMWATER FACILITY PLANNING AND TESTING


Innovative, creative, aesthetic and site-specific design concepts!

Soil profile descriptions in deep test pits, prepared by a Certified Professional Soil Scientist and mapping to characterize the landscape’s subsurface hydrology and underlying geologic strata. This step is essential to stormwater planning and design under the Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual. Based on soil porosity and patterns of water movement, areas suited to infiltration, retention, and discharge can be identified. Reports on soil characteristics and permeability are used to supplement the engineer’s report for NPDES permit applications.

Post-construction monitoring services.

“Ksat” Testing (saturated soil hydraulic conductivity testing) is best accomplished using metered water, released to controlled hole diameters and water column heights, while maintaining a constant-head, and recording in timed increments. Appropriate methods use the double-ring infiltrometer (suitable only for sites without surface stoniness), and a variety of permeameter devices with Ksat rates computed with formulas based on Darcy’s Law.

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wetlands

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Wetland Delineation & Permits


Delineation as per standards of 1987 Army Corps Manual, and Regional Supplements.

Since 1985, we have successfully defended hundreds of our wetland delineations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers through Jurisdictional Determination (“JD”) approvals.

  • Pre-acquisition wetland assessments, as part of “due diligence”
  • Non-JD presence/absence reports
  • Jurisdictional Determination (“JD” for Army Corps 5-year acceptance) Reports require data forms, captioned photos, photo & data points on plan.
  • Wetland Mitigation Design, Permitting, Construction, Monitoring
  • General Permits, Joint Permits, Small Projects Permits, Dam Permits
  • Studies for Threatened and Endangered Species
  • Macro-invertebrate studies
Carelessly placing a wetland flag 20 feet to the right or left could make the difference between a 30-day simple permit and a 2-year expensive permit. Your wetland delineator must stay fluent and current in local, state, and federal regulations and permits.
If wetlands are to be impacted, it is essential to distinguish between wetlands and “other waters” (ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, ditches), because the permit thresholds for linear and areal impacts vary for each kind of resource.
A higher level of skill is required to defend tight boundaries for intricate wetland delineations! Anyone with plastic flagging in their pocket can loosely define a conservatively safe, oversized, wetland. This may be adequate for site plans on tracts with surplus space.Consulting with a Certified Professional Soil Scientist to define the limits of hydric soil indicators could prevent you from giving up more buildable land than necessary, or needlessly processing permits.

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SOIL CLASSIFICATION AND TAXONOMY (USDA-NRCS)


High intensity soil survey mapping and interpretations, combining National
Cooperative Soil Survey Standards with permit-driven site criteria

 

  • Alluvial soils
  • Colluvial soils
  • Percent slope
  • Seasonal high water table
  • Depth to bedrock
  • Drainage class
  • Prime agricultural soils
  • Municipal land development review services, and ordinance oversight.
  • Expert Testimony

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GEOMORPHOLOGICAL STUDIES

(FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS)


The State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) of Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) requires geomorphological studies in conjunction with archaeological investigations, especially in flood plain settings. The pedologist (soil scientist) or geomorphologist begins with the earliest reconnaissance phase to assess the potential for finding intact cultural resources at varying depths, and within different project alternatives. Geomorphological assessments enable the archaeologists to concentrate field activities in areas which are most likely to produce positive results, while eliminating needless testing in areas that are too young, too old, or too disturbed, to support land surfaces which have supported prehistoric human occupation.