Environmental Consulting Projects (Please click on photos to enlarge) Deep aquifer monitoring well installations with sonic drilling rigs in urban West Palm Beach and the uplands of rural Lake County, Florida. We selected to use the increased power of sonic drilling for deep wells over 40 feet and breaking through tougher lithology, instead of the usual direct push and hollow stem auger rigs. The sonic head produces resonant energy through counter-rotating weights, which reduces the friction of the surrounding formation and results in increased penetration. A typical day of shallow monitoring well installations and sampling for petroleum contamination. We typically installed monitoring wells to delineate groundwater contamination at existing sites, and to detect any contamination at properties the client was looking into. This site was in Cocoa, Florida. Drilling recovery wells for a remediation system in Naples, Florida. Limestone bedrock with recrystallized micrite calcite was encountered at 15 feet, and the driller’s hollow stem auger rig was getting rattled apart trying to break through it. We did finally make it to the 20 foot target depth after plenty of sweating and swearing and a near mutiny by the drillers. Another day in the field! Underground storage tank removal at a retail petroleum station in the Upper Florida Keys. Leaking petroleum underground storage tanks are the most common source of contamination we deal with in Florida, due to the intersection of high population and shallow water table. During a tank removal the soil is continuously screened for organic vapors as it is removed, and soil samples for lab analysis are collected at the excavation boundaries and any hot spots. A temporary monitoring well is installed in the center of the excavation to collect a groundwater sample for analysis. This was a great site to work at, with the island only around a quarter-mile across, I was always at the beach! Drone footage I filmed of the crew and I conducting a Phase II environmental site assessment in the cattle country of Yeehaw Junction, Florida for the Department of Transportation. We assessed and sampled proposed roadway drainage pond sites for soil and groundwater contamination. Those were some hot and humid days! Site assessment and soil sampling at a former shooting range turned cotton farm in rural Alabama. We collected over 300 soil samples by hand auger in the thick red clay, which also sucked in the truck a few times when it turned to mud. In a pinch I used the tops from a couple of sample coolers as traction boards, and with enough wrangling I was able to free the heavy duty Silverado from the muck. Due to our assessment we saved the client millions of dollars in remediation costs. Landfill construction quality assurance at the decommissioned Jacksonville Electrical Authority coal power plant. Over a million square feet of geomembrane liner and geotextile were deployed to contain the coal combustion residuals pile. It was a long couple of months. A rare chilly Florida day sampling soil at the Jacksonville Electrical Authority generating station coal yard. We sampled soils under the liner for coal intrusion as part of decommissioning the power plant. Had to get the Bobcat pulled out of the coal muck more than a few times by the end of the day! Monitoring well installations and soil sampling at a Port of Miami property along the Miami River. Watch out for manatees (and iguanas)! Air quality monitoring at a soil removal site in Palm Beach County, Florida. Contaminated soil was being removed from a former pesticide storage site and crop duster airstrip to be transported to a hazardous waste landfill. Air quality monitoring was conducted at the boundaries of the site to ensure dust control measures were adequate and impacted dust was not blowing off site. Conducting waste audits for Walmart and Best Buy. Selected dumpsters were taken to recycling centers/landfills, where we categorized and documented the waste types to audit the effectiveness of their recycling programs. Hot, dirty, smelly, work. Peaceful early morning on a central Florida lake boating out to the site on a rented party barge with my fellow junior geologist (and captain) David. Learning about wetlands categorization at the Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Course. I was worried I might be out of my depth with plant identification, but it ended up not being too bad and most of the focus was on soils, which was a nice surprise. Stuck in limbo on an air sparge/soil vapor extraction remediation system installation in Naples, Florida. My Preventive Medicine section and I monitoring environmental conditions and conducting insect vector surveys during a sweltering Army Reserve field training event in Indiana. Private Smith was all smiles after an accidental dip in the lake while looking for mosquito larvae!