Soils Reconnaissance

Our soils reconnaissance is an initial or preliminary land planning service, where one of our soil scientist(s) will investigate a given property’s soils for the intended land use specified (septic, wetlands, basement). This service provides information for the preliminary suitability results for an intended purpose. This service is not as detailed as our other services, however will provide the depth to seasonal high water table (limiting zones) encountered and soil percolation rates (minutes per inch (MPI)). A brief letter and plot drawing detailing our findings may be provided upon request. We particularly recommend this service prior to any land purchases and/or land subdivision.

Site/ Soil Evaluations for Wastewater Disposal/Septic

In the State of Delaware, to install or upgrade an existing On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System (OWTDS)/Septic, a Class D soil scientist must complete and submit a site evaluation to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). DNREC will review the site evaluation and will either approve, request revisions, or modify the site evaluation. A site evaluation consists of a minimum of two (2) soil descriptions per parcel (typically to a depth of 60 to 84 inches). Based upon the depth to the limiting zone (seasonal high water table), percolation rate, landscape position/slopes, soil textures, and a few other various factors, we can determine which type of OWTDS/Septic system your soils are best suited for. After the field work, we, which will be submitted a report to DNREC. The report includes soil profile notes, a plot drawing/site map, and other pertinent site information. The process typically takes two to four weeks for DNREC submittal (this varies based upon site specific conditions and current workload). DNREC may take up to two weeks to review a site evaluation. The results are mailed to the current deeded property owner, however approved copies may be provided upon request.

Soils Investigations for Large and Community Wastewater Disposal Systems

We have the capabilities to evaluate soils for the purposes of Large OnSite Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems (LOWTDS). For these larger sites, the services performed are site specific, however typically entail a soils reconnaissance phase, described soil borings performed on a grid, soil test pits with corresponding infiltration tests, and wet season/observational well testing. Based upon the outcome of these results our staff may delineate design areas for each system/land use type within the Area of Interest (AOI). A detailed report highlighting site results with plot drawings/site maps, soil profile notes, infiltration test results, site photographs, and any additional information obtained is provided as the final product.

Soils Investigations for Stormwater Management Structures

A stormwater investigation entails a combination of soil auger borings and soil test pits. Our staff soil scientist(s) will identify the minimum and maximum invert depths required for the siting criteria of the stormwater management structure. Depths to the seasonal high water table (limiting zone), soil permeability rates, ground water levels, and other soil morphology characteristics will be provided. Soil infiltration tests may also be conducted within the proposed structure locations. The results of the stormwater investigation will be composed in a detailed stormwater investigation report which includes a plot drawing/site map, detailed soil profile descriptions, infiltration test results, site photographs, area mapping, and pertinent site information.

Spray Irrigation of Wastewaters and Land Treatment of Biosolids - Soil Studies

Utilizing soils morphology background of our knowledgeable Soil Scientist(s), we can evaluate the suitability of properties for the purposes of spray irrigation and/or land treatment of biosoilids. Based upon the investigation results we can provide mapped out design areas for application. These projects typically involve a soils reconnaissance phase, detailed soil borings performed on a grid, soil test pits with corresponding infiltration tests, and wet season/observation well testing. A detailed report highlighting the results with plot drawings/site maps, soil profile notes, infiltration results, site photographs, and other pertinent information will be provided as the final product. Additional project services such as nutrient management consulting may be provided upon request.

Percolation and Infiltrometer testing

We have experience conducting percolation and infiltration testing. These tests are utilized for many of our larger projects; however are also an component of some site evaluations for On-Site Wastewater Treatment and Disposal System (OWTDS)/Septic.With percolation testing, a DNREC licensed Class A Percolation tester conducts three percolation tests per OWTDS design area to determine the percolation rate of the soils within a given area. This test may be performed to modify, verify, or supplement a percolation rate established by a Class D Soil Scientist for the purposes of an OWTDS or LOWTDS. Percolation testing may used in conjunction with or in addition to a site evaluation and/or infiltration test. Infiltration testing is conducted utilizing single or double ring tests. Infiltration testing differs from percolation testing with the direction of flow measured. Infiltration tests are typically conducted in conjunction with soil test pits.

Soils Investigations for Basement Construction and Crawl Space Investigations

When considering construction of a basement, the groundwater table is a critical consideration for construction design. On the coastal plain there are many areas suitable for basements and also many low areas, considered less suitable. If a basement is a must-have for your future home, remodel, or business, we are able to determine the depth to the seasonal high water table on a property which may be utilized as a guide for the depth of basement construction. A basement investigation involves a combination of deep soil borings (7 to 15+ feet below the ground surface), determination of seasonal high water table, and depth to groundwater during the investigation. The results of the investigation will be composed in a detailed report with a plot drawing/site map, soil profile notes, and site photographs included.

Wetland Evaluations/ Delineations

Based upon the presence of dominant hydrophytic vegetation, wetland hydrological indicators, and hydric soils, we are able to determine the presence or absence of wetlands on a property. For the wetland evaluation service, a detailed report providing property information and field results are provided. A wetland delineation service entails flagging and survey of the wetland/upland boundaries and may involve site specific measures and agency coordination.

GPS/GIS Mapping and Consulting

We are currently utilizing sub meter to sub foot accuracy Trimble GeoXH 6000 series Global Positioning System (GPS) units. When optimal conditions are present, these units may obtain 0-5 cm and/or 5-15 cm post processed accuracy. Our experienced AutoCAD operator may insert the features collected into a plot drawing/site map. This plot drawing may be overlaid on an aerial or map with additional layers shown.