Geo-Hydro Field Services

Soil Sampling and Remediation

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc, (SEE) has the capability to investigate surface and subsurface soil conditions for industrial, municipal, and private property owners using various subsurface techniques.

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. can collect soil and/or ground water samples by use of our Geo-Probe or by using a range of hand sampling equipment. The Geo-Probe is used to sample the soils and set ground water monitoring wells. If a less disturbed sample is required, SEE has drive tube samplers that can be operated by hand. These methods are the least obtrusive, can operate without power sources, and sample in small areas where power equipment cannot access. Sampling of sediments and water in lakes and canals can be provided with available equipment.

SEE also provides Geo-Probe coring/sampling with our own equipment and hollow-stem auger services through our competitive agreements with our sub-contractors.

For information concerning location of subsurface materials such as suspect underground storage tanks, SEE can provide remote sensing methods such as magnetic surveys using our magnetic indicator meter to show the presence of ferrous materials without intrusive subsurface testing. Other geophysical methods may be used for remote testing, with special requests.

These data can be evaluated immediately at your site by an SEE professional and a confidential report will be prepared for you.

Surface Water Testing

The condition of the surface waters and associated sediments of the Great Lakes are of primary importance to the economy and environment of the Great Lakes Region. Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. has the experience and equipment to sample and evaluate these important natural and man-made water bodies and structures.

Service Environmental Engineering has a multi-stage sludge sampler and associated devices for sampling sediment and sludge and have various sizes of boats for reaching all parts of any shallow body of the water of the Great Lakes. SEE can sample and core to a depth of eight feet of sediment, SEE can also look at the condition of your detention and retention ponds.

In addition, See has available a suite of different types of surface water samplers that will sample surface wter automatically where 24-hour composite sampling, storm water run-off sampling, or any other manned or unmanned sampling is required.

The Ground to Surface Water Pathway Criteria of the Michigan Environmental Regulations are some of the most stringent risk-based numbers of the hazardous materials that may enter the surface water of the State of Michigan. Therefore, the evaluation of the sediments and soil near our shorelines at sites that are being considered for development must be evaluated in a thorough and timely manner.

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc, are qualified to test for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs). These substances can be found in both surface and groundwater, and have been found in various levels through-out the state.

Hydro-geological Assessment Services

Hydro-geological investigations define the nature, movement and extent of regulated constituents at or below the surface of the earth, as well as provide a scientific basis for environmental management decisions regarding remediation.

Clean surface water and ground water resources are important for drinking water and influence our quality of life. As a result, the Michigan Water Resources Commission Act 245 Part 4 and EPQ 40 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 122.21 established water quality requirements to protect groundwater supply.

Prior to implementing full-scale hydro-geological studies, there is a need for preliminary planning techniques such as Phase II geophysical/geochemical surveys, subsurface soil gas studies, and soil sampling plan rationale. These define potential source areas, determine optimum soil boring/groundwater monitoring well locations and provide cost effective solutions.

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. has a fully integrated network computer system which can be utilized to model techniques and to study sampling and data grids potentiometric surfaces, draw down, and volumetrics. Modelling activities are utilized to simulate complex groundwater systems to perform:

Geo-Probe Soil Boring on Site

Phase II studies or site closures usually include soil sampling during soil boring. Geoprobe boring is less expensive than using conventional drill rigs for completing soil borings and/or installing monitoring or injection wells. The probe is hydraulically-driven by a hammer with percussion. Soil sampling speed in more rapid for direct push tools and fewer wastes are generated that require disposal as compared to conventional auger drilling. Continuous cores are obtained in plastic tubes that are cut open for Photo-ionization measurements, characterizing of the soil and for obtaining laboratory samples. Discrete continuous soil sampling is possible through a dual tube system. But before we bore we check with MISS DIG and map out all of the underground utilities.

Additionally, ground water can be sampled through probe tools or monitoring wells can be set for ground water sampling and the water table elevations can be determined. SEE has the capability to install 0.5 inch or 0.75 inch prepacked monitoring wells

There is minimal disruption of the site as small holes (1.25 inches to 3.5 inches in diameter) can be punched through black-top surfaces and concrete surfaces sometimes. In some cases it is desirable to use a concrete boring device to complete a hole in the concrete. These holes are easily patched and clean-up is relatively easy.

The SEE Geoprobe can be used in many outdoor sites because the Geoprobe is mounted on four-wheel drive truck. It also can be used in buildings with twenty-foot ceilings and garage doors. SEE will supply all of the necessary tools and expendables for performing the work. Our Geoprobe Operator has many years of experience and we rarely have trouble getting the job completed. We can drill to a thirty-foot depth depending on the nature of the soil.

Service Environmental Engineering has a Model 5400 Geoprobe mounted on a Ford F-250. The system supplies 14 tons of pull and 10.5 tons of downforce. Additional description of the equipment can be found by contacting SEE.

Observation/Monitoring Well Installation

Usually with Pase II studies for site closures it is necessary to assess the ground water via monitoring wells. If ground water occurs on the subject site selected soil borings can be converted into observation/monitoring wells that can be for temporary or long-term use. There can be several purposes for these wells including: ground water sampling, photoionization detector measurements, determination of the water table elevation, determination of hydro-geological characteristics and possibly for injection of fluids that will decompose contaminates.

Unless otherwise specified general observation/monitoring wells include Schedule 40 PVC riser pipes, one or two inches in diameter, Schedule 40 flush joint screens, one to ten feet in length that are slotted 0.010 inch that are threaded to a riser pipe of the appropriate diameter length. The screen slot size is dependent on the physical characteristics of the water - bearing zones and indigenous soils. It should be noted that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality requires, with exceptions, that the screens be of five foot length.

A filter pack, typically a 10/20 mesh sand, will be installed around the screen of the well. The type of filter pack is dependent on the characteristics of the water-bearing zone. The filter pack is placed no more than two feet below and above the well screen as an augur is raised. The top of the pack will be sounded with a weighted tape to monitor for sand bridging. Bentonite will be grouted upwards from the sand pack. The installation could include the use of bentonite chips or the pouring of a bentonite slurry through a tremmie pipe into the annular space between the well and the inner diameter of the hallow stem augur for deep wells. Usually if the top of the filter pack is less than seven feet below grade, bentonite chips can be poured down the space between the well and the riser and then packed.

The PVC riser pipe will extend to approximately 0.5 feet below grade. For permanent wells, an eight-inch flush mounted manhole cover anchored in cement will protect the well. A locking expandable cap will be installed on each riser with a bolt-down manhole cover.

To maximize well yield and provide sediment-free ground water, the well must be developed. A surge block is used in the well for several minutes to force water in and out of the water-bearing zone which will release flow-inhibting fine particles from the borehole and well screen. Then a pump is used to remove several volumes of water out of the well until the ground water is free of sediment. Recharge rates are periodically monitored to determine the condition of the well. For contaminated sites, water from each well must be held in DOT approved 55-gallon drums pending proper disposal unless there is regulatory approval to return the water to the well.

The monitoring wells must be properly closed after the work is completely finalized according to MDEQ regulations.

Soil and Groundwater Testing

The collection of soil samples and groundwater samples is for the purpose of determining the actual amount of hazardous organic and inorganic materials in the ground and comparing those amounts with the statutory risk-based limits established by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The samples also provide other information that aids in the characterization of the subject site or area.

Soil sampling:

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. geologists and geo-technicians, trained to recognize the different kinds of lithologic units and zones of contamination that can occur in the subsurface, must perform the soil sampling. SEE uses a photo-ionization detector (PID) on bagged samples to estimate the amount of volatile organic substances when the samples are collected. The geoprobe or hand augured samples are collected every two to four feet with boring advancement. Usually, samples are taken down to the water table and below the water-bearing zone if possible.

Every care is taken to insure that the core samples are not disturbed and that no volatiles are lost, and proper methods and materials are used so the soil samples are not contaminated.

The collection of soil samples by a Shelby tube sampler may be for geophysical and geochemical analysis including the following parameters: hydraulic conductivity, permeability, particle size fraction, porosity, specific yield, specific retention, petrology, mineralogy, stratification, and Atterberg Limits. "Verification of Soil Remediation" (Michigan Department of Natural Resources, April 1994) establishes the number and location of soil samples collected for verifying soil remediation of the subject site.

Groundwater sampling:

Low flow sampling with a peristaltic pump, or in some cases, bailers can be used to collect groundwater. Service Environmental Engineering uses a YSI 556 multiprobe monitoring device and other devices to measure such characteristics as: temperature, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, oxidation - reduction potential and turbidity of the groundwater. Methods are used to insure that the ground water sampled represents the average ground water in the formation near the monitoring well. SEE personnel also observes other characteristics that help in understanding the features of the groundwater and contaminates in the groundwater and if such processes as natural bioremediation is occurring or has the potential to occur. The sampling tubes are replaced between each monitoring well and other stringent protocols are used so that the samples are not cross contaminated. One sampling event will occur for some sites while several sampling events may occur to close a 201 or 213 regulated site. This all depends on the needs of the client.

Quality control/quality assurance samples are taken per regulations when needed. All samples are stored on ice and documented on a chain of custody prior to delivering the samples to the state certified laboratory for analysis. Excess soil and groundwater from sampling is placed in 55-gallon drums and removed by licensed haulers to a proper landfill. There are several State of Michigan protocols that are followed during the groundwater sampling and laboratory analysis.

Industrial Waste Characterization

All waste generators except households are required by law to:

Service Environmental Engineering, Inc. personnel sample wastes that have been generated by generator, complete waste characterization reports make sure the containers of waste are properly labelled and arrange for the proper disposal of the waste for the generator.

Wastes include universal wastes, non-hazardous and hazardous materials. Materials can be classified as by products if they are used with significant processing. Common solid wastes, including metal shavings and filters and rags, are characterized by Michigan and federal regulations. Hazardous wastes are wastes that are determined to be a threat to the environment or human health. Some of the characteristics of a hazardous waste may be: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity. The wastes could be liquid or solids. Both Michigan and the Federal government have lists of wastes with their own hazardous waste classification code.

Common liquid industrial wastes are used oil, wastewater, off spec liquid industrial wastes, paints, solvents and discarded chemical products. Wastes generated at a site are subject specific time periods for storage and disposal.

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