Design and Permitting

Hydrogeological Assessment
BLE performs subsurface hydrogeologic investigations for facility design and expansion. The goal of these investigations is to determine the geologic setting, groundwater flow characteristics, groundwater quality, design impact of topographic features, soil suitability and availability as construction materials.

Preparation of drilling plans, logging thousands of feet of core samples, interpreting site-specific stratigraphy, and preparing hydrogeology reports are part of the permit application submittal. The information and data obtained from these investigations are used for landfill design and groundwater monitoring system permitting.

Hydrogeological investigation services typically involve:

  • Background review of published geologic data and maps
  • Site reconnaissance
  • Mapping of site geologic features and bedrock fracture traces
  • Geophysical surveys of subsurface geology
  • Inventory of local wells
  • Exploratory drilling, rock coring and borehole testing
  • Soil and rock sampling
  • Groundwater piezometer or monitoring well installation
  • Aquifer testing and groundwater / surface water hydrology
  • Lab testing of the physical/engineering characteristics of the site soils
  • Initial statistical analysis of baseline groundwater chemistry

Geotechnical Evaluation
Due to the inherent structure of landfills, stable foundations and slopes are essential to maintain daily operations and achieve the landfill’s full design life. BLE performs geotechnical engineering evaluations to help the design integrate engineering parameters of the underlying earth and buried waste materials – whether that be municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste or coal combustion residuals. Design and Operations Plans that include geotechnical analysis will generally lead to better decisions for a stable and sustainable landfill system.

BLE’s construction experience allows us to engineer custom solutions that are technically appropriate, constructible, and cost-effective. In complex remedial cases, our team of engineers, in collaboration with academia and national consultants, has developed unique solutions using advanced modeling and stabilization design. Analytical methods enable us to develop an understanding of current conditions and to design appropriate construction remedies.

Geotechnical engineering services for landfills include:

  • Site suitability evaluation
  • Review of location siting restrictions such as seismic activity or karst features
  • Investigate subsurface conditions and materials
  • Design and specification plan review
  • Borrow source assessments and fill material evaluation
  • Pre-construction planning
  • Laboratory testing
  • Settlement and post-settlement evaluations
  • Slope stability analysis of the subgrade and the proposed waste mound
  • Deep leachate and underdrain buried pipe evaluation
  • Drainage layers for closure caps
  • Evaluation of base liner systems, compatibility of erosion, protective cover and drainage layers
  • CQA / CQC
  • Geosynthetics Design; liner system stress and stability
    Electrical leak location services for geomembranes

Groundwater, Landfill Gas Monitoring 
BLE develops media-specific Environmental Monitoring Plans that lay out guidelines for the compliance monitoring lifecycle of a landfill. Our well-developed plans meet regulatory approval by specifying procedures and methods to verify protection of the environment, thus helping our clients meet their obligations and insure responsible care to the community.

We install groundwater and landfill gas monitoring systems, interpret groundwater chemistry and hydrogeologic data, and prepare reports for submittal to state agencies. We conduct statistical analyses of groundwater data from numerous monitoring systems for detection, assessment, and corrective action monitoring. BLE offers the following groundwater monitoring services:

  • Monitoring well system design and installation
  • Well development and rehabilitation
  • Dedicated pump design and installation
  • Low flow groundwater sampling
  • Groundwater quality reporting and representation to state agencies
  • Verification resampling and assessment monitoring
  • Statistical analyses for detection, assessment, and corrective action monitoring
  • Groundwater investigations
  • Contaminant fate and transport modeling to determine corrective action need and effectiveness