Water Supply Services
The central tenet of our business plan is that high-capacity, high-quality groundwater supplies will be an increasingly scarce natural resource of the 21st century. For this reason, water supply services have been our core specialty since our inception.
What Makes Us Different: Regulatory Agency Insights
Our hydrogeologic staff works closely with agency officials and has for years. In fact, key regulators throughout the Mid-Atlantic states remain valued clients, respected colleagues and professional peers. For example, by volunteer service on committees and otherwise, we supported Maryland’s development of many present policies of water allocation, evaluation, management, and protection.
This unique connection and specialized background demonstrates our capability to anticipate regulatory actions. In turn, this provides for economical project design. Clients save because we integrate permitting considerations in every aspect of hydrogeologic fieldwork and data analysis. As a result, our submittals meet client requirements while exceeding agency expectations. Both find that the necessary supporting work expertly completed with timeliness and cost-effectiveness.
What Makes us Experts
Our excellent technical credentials manifest in the design and execution of the work we perform. We are accustomed to the rigors of technical and legal defensibility. Hence, many clients find this focus to be an asset in addressing the delicate issues that sometimes may arise.
Groundwater Supply Exploration & Development - Our hydrogeological staff has sited and developed many of the highest yielding water wells ever drilled in the bedrock aquifers of the Mid-Atlantic Region, including many of the highest yielding public water supply wells in the Maryland counties of Carroll, Frederick, Harford and Washington.
We possess great expertise in the understanding of well construction and the associated benefit-cost judgments (e.g. when to drill deeper and when to move to a new location). We integrate this with our background in hydrogeology to help municipalities and other public utilities achieve safe and dependable well water supplies. Optionally, we accept such consulting opportunities on a mutually beneficial, shared-risk basis.
Well Design & Construction Management
Scientific Well Site Selection
Water Quality & Geochemical Evaluations
Bottled Spring Water Support Services - The firm’s experience in spring water resource characterization, development and permitting evaluations of the type typically required by regulatory agencies is extensive. For our clients in the bottled water industry and those aspiring to enter it, our firm’s specialty in hydrogeology and regulatory affairs is beneficial in both identifying “red-flag” issues early in the project’s inception and in navigating clients successfully through the often complex regulatory process. Our attention to these critical scope elements makes efficient use of our clients’ timeframe and capital investment. The project is further supported through the key relationships we maintain with the regulatory community as well as with reputable engineers and specialized contractors knowledgeable in the design and construction of spring source and treatment infrastructure.
The firm’s spring water services range from preliminary source water feasibility studies to hydrogeologic characterizations of spring sites through source development and permitting. Our staff has extensive experience in spring source reconnaissance throughout the Mid-Atlantic States, evaluating springs issuing from bedrock, coastal plain and glaciated sources.
Exemplifying expertise in spring water matters, the firm’s hydrogeological staff has completed several evaluations of springs proposed as bottled water sources throughout the central Appalachians. One Pennsylvania site has been permitted and approved as a commercial bulk water production facility and presently is in operation; others are in varying stages of evaluation and development.
Whether you are a long-standing member of the bottled water community seeking to evaluate new sources, rehabilitate existing sources or maintain regulatory compliance with current water quality standards, or if you are an entrepreneur interested in acquiring a spring source for the first time, the firm can provide the technical and regulatory support to meet and exceed your needs.
Surface Water/Reservoir Hydrogeology - Our capability to evaluate, develop and permit sustainable surface water resources parallels our groundwater expertise. The firm completed comprehensive surface water availability and safe yield assessments of several rivers and streams across the Mid-Atlantic Region, including some of the largest new surface water withdrawals planned in the Mid-Atlantic region over the last half century. These projects included hydrologic evaluations of flow-by requirements and predictions of flow diminution upon downstream waterways. This work involved computing the frequency and severity of low-flow conditions under various future use and operations scenarios.
We excel at assessing the interaction of surface water and groundwater. For projects requiring this specialization, the firm routinely inventories and monitors surrounding wells, neighboring wetlands, springs, and streams in both adjoining and downgradient locations for evidence of effects that may arise from drilling and pumping operations. Regularly we construct weirs, deploy flumes and groundwater transducers, and establish and maintain hydrologic monitoring gauges.
Fractured Bedrock & Karst Hydrogeology - The firm’s technical staff possesses considerable skill and experience in fractured bedrock and karst settings and regularly evaluates safe yields, maps recharge areas and otherwise characterizes the hydrogeologic framework of wells and springs that issue from fractured and/or karst bedrock.
The firm has successfully evaluated and developed water supplies in fractured and kart bedrock terrain throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. We also specialize in designing and executing production well rehabilitation programs, wherein surface water influence, turbidity and bacterial contamination issues are addressed through carefully managed testing and reconstruction work. The firm’s staff has authored many papers on hydrogeologic techniques as applied to fractured and karst terrain (e.g., sustainable well yield evaluation methods).
Saltwater Intrusion Studies in Costal Settings
Mathematical Modeling of Groundwater Systems
Permit Applications & Regulatory Coordination - The firm possesses the unique combination of (1) seasoned hydrogeological experience in the field, developed over the course of dozens of comparable and successful water supply projects in the karst and fractured rock aquifers of central Maryland; and (2) the detailed regulatory insight provided as a direct consequence of our President’s past employment with the state as a day-to-day processor and issuer of Water Appropriation Permits. It therefore should come as no surprise that the firm’s hydrogeological staff has sited, developed, and/or permitted prolific water wells in the bedrock aquifers of Maryland, including some of the highest yielding public water supply wells in several central Maryland Counties that presently are in service.
Our approach to surface and groundwater development projects draws on the integration of our background and experience in classical geology, hydrogeological well siting, hydrology, regulatory considerations and constraints, environmental planning and permitting, as well as water quality and treatability issues. We possess technical expertise in the understanding of well construction and the associated benefit-cost judgments (e.g., when to drill deeper and when to move to a new location for groundwater projects; methods to seek relaxation of flow-by requirements for surface water projects).
The firm thoroughly understands local and state technical requirements with regard to water appropriation permitting in particular and water supply planning and allocation in general. In the 1980s, Mark Eisner, P.G. helped to draft many of the concepts of statewide water resources management that still govern the allocability of both groundwater and surface water in Maryland. Over the years, we have maintained our keen understanding of the regulations and guidelines governing municipal groundwater supply development, permitting and management. To this day, the firm maintains close ties and professional working relationships with several key officials with the MDE Source Protection and Appropriation Division (formerly the Water Supply Program and Water Rights Division).
Source Water Assessment & Protection - The firm possesses extensive regional experience in Source Water Assessment Plans (SWAPs) executed in conformance with state and EPA requirements. SWAPs have been a core professional service the firm has provided since our inception.
The firm’s staff has completed SWAPs for approximately 130 public groundwater supply wells throughout the Mid-Atlantic region since the 1996 passage of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act amendments. This work entailed delineating wellhead protection and source water contribution areas, assembling contaminant threats inventories, preparing contingency and emergency response plans, designing and implementing shareholder participation and community outreach programs, and recommending and testifying on protective ordinances and restrictive covenants.
Exemplifying our unparalleled expertise in SWAP work, in 2000 we completed an eight-system wellhead protection and SWAP for the Cecil County (MD) Office of Planning and Zoning. That project was the recipient of the first-ever SWAP of the Year award from EPA Region III
The firm has completed a draft Source Water Assessment and Wellhead Protection Plan, under contract to the City of Westminster and funded by a Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) grant.
Wellfield Rehabilitation & Optimization
Expert Testimony & Ligation Support - Our hydrogeological staff has been called upon to testify as experts on many occasions, on matters related to hydrogeology and groundwater supply, land treatment and wastewater discharge, regulatory agency submittals and permits, subsurface conditions that bear on development suitability, environmental assessments and remediation, and related specialty fields. Recent and present clients have found our keen regulatory understanding particularly beneficial.