Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Microbial Filtermitts Sediment FilterMitts for Natural Gas Development, Land Development, Stormwater Management

Microbial Filtermitts™ and Sediment FilterMitts™ securely contain our compost blend within a biodegradable fabric enclosure. They can be used for detaining or directing surface water flows, retaining sediment, and protecting wetlands and other water resources. Absent of any synthetic materials, Microbial FilterMitts™ and Sediment FilterMitts™ can be left in place indefinitely, saving the cost of removal. The natural fabric eventually biodegrades and is used as a food source for the micro-organisms.

Microbial FilterMitts™ and Sediment FilterMitts™  can be used alone or in conjunction with other storm water management techniques. They can also be grouped together to form a FilterMitt Berm™.

Composition and function:   
Phase II Stormwater Products Inc.'s FilterMitts™ are burlap fabric Mitts  filled with the appropriate compost blends, used for sediment and erosion control. These Mitts are sized accordingly for each job, unless specified.

• Flat areas or slopes.

• For short and long term solutions; FilterMitts™ can be easily removed before the fabric decomposes.

• If left in place, the hessian (burlap) casing eventually biodegrades, eliminating need for removal.

• Appropriate uses include shoreline stabilization, on slopes and flat areas, check dams, vegetation establishment, retaining walls, and in backfill and bioengineering applications.

• Compatible with vegetation establishment; plants can be installed into the FilterMitt™.

To ensure proper functioning, regular inspections, and, if necessary, maintenance should take place after installation. FilterMitts™ should be inspected immediately after each rainfall-producing event, and at least daily during prolonged rainfall events. Proper functioning and sediment accumulation should be checked during inspection. Deposited sediments should be removed when the level of deposition reaches approximately one half the height of the FilterMitt™.  

FilterMitts™ can be sprayed with Microbial Inoculations at about two-month intervals to maintain high levels of active microorganisms.

Online Training Courses in Stormwater Management

Advanced Stormwater Treatment: Design

Baseline Water Testing in Michigan - Protecting Private Well Owners

Baseline Water Testing the Michigan Approach

We recently had the opportunity to review the recommendations for baseline water testing in Michigan.  We completed this review based on a review of published geological data, historic land practices, and the potential for oil and gas development.   We have conducted a review of baseline water testing programs for Colorado, Ohio, Kansas, Texas, Pennsylvania and other areas and we have conducted training courses related to baseline water sampling.  In addition, we have reviewed a few 1000 baseline water quality test results and reviewed the common complaints associated with baseline water testing.    For Michigan, The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals has developed the Oil & Gas Pre-Drill Water Well Testing in September of 2012.    We looked to see if an updated document was available and would could not be found.   

The 2012 document indicates the following:

Tier 1 - General Oil and Gas Pre-Drill Screening- Basic Suite
Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX)
Total Dissolved Solids


Tier 2 - More Comprehensive Test
Oil and Gas

Specific Conductance
Total Dissolved Solids
Total Suspended Solids

T. Hardness

Methane, Ethane, Propane
Nitrate as N
As, Ba, Pb, Se, Sr, Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, K, Na

Total Coliform
E. coil. 

On a separate website - I found the following comment:
*DEQ includes hardness in combined test for Chloride, which also 
includes Fluoride, Nitrate, Nitrite, Sulfate, Sodium and Iron.

**DEQ includes Ethane and Ethylene in its Methane test.

The DEQ document also states " should be noted that water well sampling provides water quality data for a single point in time. Water quality results can  vary considerably because of many factors, including: seasonally fluctuating static water levels, water well construction, use of the water supply, sampling technique, weather and atmospheric conditions. It is recommended that homeowners who wish to perform pre-drill sampling work with a professional environmental consultant and certified laboratory in order to: understand these natural variations in water quality; choose an appropriate sample suite of parameters; and to ensure the quality of the data obtained from pre-drill sampling and analysis. "

Overall, I agree with the concept of baseline testing, but at no time should document be interpreted to mean that the Tier 1 test will cover you in all cases and concerns and to be honest in most cases and concerns. The Tier 1 test, as proposed,  is NOT all you will need. 

Our general recommendations
1. The LEL, lower explosion level, of the wellhead space should be document during non-pumping and pumping conditions and the dynamic water level and pumping rate should be documented.

2. The most common water quality problems associated with oil and gas activity is dirty and discolored water, change in gas concentration, loss of circulation during drilling, and maybe changes in corrosion.  Therefore, water quality parameters such as iron, manganese, aluminum, lead, ethane, propane, barium, sulfate, turbidity, bromide, sodium, foaming agent, observation of the aesthetic quality of the water, and field monitoring for at least pH, conductivity, and ORP.

3. Will these additions be enough - Maybe / Maybe NOT- this is why you need to seek the advice of an expert.

4. Baseline water testing is not just about collecting a water sample and the court case starts when the third party agent walks into your home. 

Need more information - please do not hesitate to Contact the Keystone Clean Water Team at 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pennsylvania Sewage Enforcement Officer Training Soil Morphology POT Analysis Course #111-0008

Soil Profile Descriptions Using the POT Approach - Course #111-0008

POT- Prepare, Observe, and Translate

Update - 2015 Schedule

Date: August 28, 2014
Lehman Township Municipal Building

1183 Old Route 115
PO Box 262
Lehman, PA 18627
Registration Deadline: August 22, 2014
SEO Credits:   8  total comprised of: 4 classroom, 3 field, and 1 hour test

*How You Will Benefit*

The purpose of this course is to educate Sewage Enforcement Officers on preparing and interpreting soil profiles.  This one day training session will begin in a classroom setting and will end in the field where participants can put their new knowledge to use.  This course is also suitable for professional engineers, geologists and other licensed professionals.
*Fee: $95 for the 8 hour course (includes lunch)*

*Course Outline*
Registration: 8:15-8:30 AM
8:30AM-12:30 PM: Classroom Session

Course introduction
Field Safety/ Confined Space
Soil Formation Factors
Soil Research - Websoils and Other Tools
Soil Color, Texture, Structure, Consistency,
Redoximorphic Features
Soil Horizonation and Limiting Conditions

12:30-1:30 PM: Lunch (included)
1:30-4:30 PM: Field Session

Field Descriptions of Soils - The “POT Approach”
Credit for completing the course will be awarded only to those sewage enforcement officers completing the classroom session, the field session and the accompanying exam with a minimum score of 70%.

*About the Instructor*

Brian Oram is  a Professional Geologist and Soil Scientist with B.F. Environmental Consultants. He is a licensed professional geologist, licensed Well Driller,  Professional Soil Scientist, and licensed Sewage Enforcement Officer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with over 20 years experience in conducting hydrogeological investigations related to water supply
development, contaminant migration, wetland mitigation, and land based wastewater disposal systems.

*Certificates of Completion*

Wilkes University is a DEP-approved sponsor of continuing education for sewage enforcement officers in Pennsylvania.  A certificate of  completion will be given to participants at the conclusion of the course listing the total hours completed.  The baccalaureate programs in Electrical, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.  Wilkes University is a provider of continuing education in Pennsylvania through the State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists.  These hours may count towards the continuing education requirements for license renewal for professional engineers in Pennsylvania.  Please refer to Act 25 for more information.

Wilkes University is a DEP-approved sponsor of continuing education for sewage enforcement officers in Pennsylvania.
Courses in our Sustainability program can also be taken for PDH hours.  For more information, visit http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/3436.asp 

*Refund Policy*
Cancellations: A refund will be given if the cancellation is received prior to the registration deadline.

*Inclement Weather Policy*
If inclement weather is predicted, please call (570) 408-4460 or email continuedlearning@wilkes.edu. You can register online or download the flier about the course.

Wilkes University
Center for Continued Learning
84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
Phone (570) 408-5615
Fax (570) 408-7912
Email continuedlearning@wilkes.edu

other training opportunities   (Course in 2015)

More Courses Related to Septic Systems
PA Septic System Perspective
Courses in our Sustainability program can also be taken for PDH hours or Green Building/ Sustainability.  For more information, visit http://www.wilkes.edu/pages/3436.asp