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Research Projects and Consulting Projects in Hydrogeology

Our Team's Involvement in Grassroots Projects, Joint Efforts, Special Projects, and Case Studies

The staff of the KnowYourH20™ program have been the primary investigators/consultants and have participated in developing and conducting training programs and courses for students, teachers, environmental groups, environmental professionals, and the public in a variety of forums.

The experts with KnowYourH20™ have assisted or developed workshops, educational material, and laboratory/field training exercises, and conducted hands-on training workshops. Workshop topics include: environmental monitoring, sampling and testing, non-point-source pollution, development of monitoring plans, quality control and assurance programs, water well construction and testing, and drinking water testing and treatment. The team has assisted with a number of teacher training programs in the areas of soil science, water quality, water quality testing, stream assessment, groundwater, well construction, watershed and pollution studies, and in developing training programs for students from grade 6 to 12, teacher training programs (Act 167), professional training programs, and train-the-trainer programs.

Private Well Owner and Environmental Outreach Programs

The KnowYourH20™ programs have been working with local, regional, and nationwide educators with watershed groups, citizen scientists, and conservation districts to facilitate education and outreach programs on Groundwater Education, Lake Ecology, Well Construction, and Private Well-Testing Programs including conducting analyses of private wells, preparing summary reports, and developing a draft lake and watershed monitoring plan and laboratory QC/QA Plan.

Check out our Private Well Owner Case Studies in our Indoor Drinking Water section.

Train the Sampler/ Professional

Mr. Oram has conducted training programs for certified laboratories, water samplers, water quality professionals, licensed professionals, watershed organizations, and citizen scientists related to proper water quality sampling techniques, chain-of-custody, and baseline water quality assessments.

Well BioFouling, Microbiologically-Induced Corrosion, and Nuisance Conditions in Distribution Systems and Private Water Sources

Mr. Oram has been involved with a number of projects related to biofouling of water supply wells for residential private wells and regulated community water supply wells. These types of projects typically require an understanding of geology and water well construction and operation. Therefore, it is good that Mr. Oram is also a licensed well driller and a licensed professional geologist. We have also worked on biofouling problems and bacterial regrowth in private water systems, large homes, apartments, large institutional systems, medical water treatment, and even community water supply systems. Because biofouling may be associated with aesthetic and health-related water quality issues such as discolored water, odors , corrosion by-products that could include copper, lead, nickel, aluminum, and zinc and biological contaminants like standard plate count and Legionella, it is always advisable to take a holistic view of a system.

Crescent Lake

There was a Small Watershed Assessment in Susquehanna County conducted in cooperation and partnership with the Cottagers Association, The Pennsylvania State University, B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc., Wilkes University, and Borton-Lawson Engineering. Mr. Oram provided professional consulting services and assisted with laboratory support, the development of QA/QC plans, a technical review of lake and stream monitoring data, and developed recommendations for lake management, assisted in the development of the lake management plan, and trained volunteer monitors.

<a class="glob_bu" style="color:white;background-color:#16787f;text-decoration: none;" href="/outdoor-4/crescent-lake-watershed-assessment-project">Learn More</a>

Roamingwood Water and Sewer Authority

B.F. Environmental Consultants, Inc. working with Wilkes University, the PADEP, PA Rural Water Association, Hideout POA, and the Roamingwood Sewer and Water Association developed a detailed hydrological characterization of the region, conducted a groundwater capture zone analysis, and compiled this information into a Source Water Protection Plan. With respect to this project, the work included a geological and hydrological characterization of the region, a review of pumping test data, calculation of aquifer properties, the development of GIS data-layers and a groundwater model to determine the potential extent of the capture zone, and a study of the potential sources of contamination that may impact the facility.

<a class="glob_bu" style="color:white;background-color:#16787f;text-decoration: none;" href="/outdoor-4/roamingwood-sewer-and-water-association">Learn More</a>

Harveys Lake and other Watershed Monitoring

Mr. Oram was involved with the initial monitoring and investigation at Harvey's Lake in Luzerne County PA. The investigation was part of a Phase I Diagnostic Feasibility Study that was funded by the EPA. Mr. Oram was responsible for the implementation of a laboratory QC/QA program, training field technicians, and conducting laboratory analysis. Since the completion of the study, Mr. Oram has been working on the implementation of a groundwater and surface water monitoring and assessment program for Harveys Lake. We have also been involved in the monitoring of Crescent Lake, Lake Carey, Lake Wallenpaupack, the Susquehanna River, Toby Creek, Solomons Creek, Hunlock Creek, the Lackawanna River, and a number of large watershed monitoring projects in Northeastern Pennsylvania. We are currently planning a private well owner outreach program for the Harveys Lake Community in June.

Lake Carey

We conducted a Lake, Pond, and Watershed Assessment in cooperation and partnership with the Cottagers Association, B.F. Environmental Consultants, and F.X. Browne, Inc. Mr. Oram assisted with the  laboratory support, development of QA/QC plans, and conducted a Private Well Owner Testing, Monitoring, Community Outreach Program, and then conducted a wastewater disposal alternative analysis for the community. Lake Carey is a 254-acre lake with a watershed area of 4,173 acres located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. It consists of a 183-acre upper lake and a 71-acre lower pond. The upper lake is a natural glacial lake while the lower pond was created to power a sawmill.

Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development

Mr. Brian Oram, P.G. has conducted a number of training and education programs, and has been a member of a number of Low-Impact Development and Storm-Water Management Projects. The projects have focused on innovative stormwater management, water reuse, enhanced groundwater recharge, and the development of site-specific best-management practices. The projects also involved soils testing, hydraulic conductivity testing, infiltration testing, workshops in hydrogeology and hydrology, the performance evaluations of BMPs, and BMP selection. The data were used to develop conceptual designs and the implementation of bioretention, infiltration, and other non-structural controls to aid in managing runoff.

Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Groundwater Under-the-Direct-Influence Investigations (GWUDI)

PADEP Drinking Water regulations have required water suppliers using "springs" or "groundwater sources" to evaluate drinking water sources for the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium and to determine the susceptibility of systems to surface water contamination. The susceptibility to surface water contamination is based on the distribution of surface water indicators, an evaluation of the hydrogeological setting, and well / spring construction. Mr. Oram has been involved in hundreds of GWUDI evaluations and has assisted in the siting, construction, design and development of both community and non-community water supplies, water wells, and springs. Evaluations have been conducted throughout Northeastern and Southeastern Pennsylvania and in up-state New York. The GWUDI protocol is similar to the procedure to evaluate water filtration plants. When this analysis is needed, we partner with certified laboratories or work with the local state laboratories.

MPA (Microscopic Particulate Analysis) and the MET (Microscopic Evaluation Technique) are used to evaluate the potential for surface water influence on groundwater.

Filtration Plant Performance Evaluations

A protocol was developed to evaluate the performance of filtration plants. This protocol is similar to the method used for "GWUDI" investigations, but the ranking and interpretation is based on a combination of the system configuration, source water, and degree of particle removal. Mr. Oram has been involved in the evaluation of several pilot filtration and full-scale filtration plants in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

For more information about this protocol, please visit the Filtration Plant Performance Evaluation Page in our Indoor Drinking Water section.

Barley Creek Brewing Company

The Barley Creek Brewing Company is a microbrewery located in Tannersville, PA. Mr. Oram assisted with the preliminary soils, hydrological, and water quality evaluation of the site. In addition, he provided guidance in the development of environmental assessments that needed to be conducted to meet the requirements of the local municipality and PADEP. The scope of the most recent project is to provide assistance with the operation and management of an "innovative technology" to denitrify the wastewater generated by the facility, assist in the preparation of NPDES reports, and conduct monthly and quarterly water quality analysis of the treatment system and monitoring wells. We are currently assisting with a hydrological assessment and groundwater identification analysis for this project.

Victoria Arms - A Township Project

Mr. Oram assisted in the on-site training and the laboratory analysis of water quality data collected during a SWIP investigation of two on-site water wells servicing the Victoria Arms Townhouses in Kresgeville, PA. The protocol was a combination of a 6-month daily monitoring program and a Groundwater-Under-the-Direct-Influence GWUDI) Investigation . During the monitoring phase, water samples were tested for pH, conductivity, temperature, turbidity, total coliform, and fecal coliform.

Arsenic Removal Project

The Engelhard Corporation, Iselin, NJ, B.F. Environmental Consultants, PA, and the Water Research Center at Wilkes University partnered to conduct an evaluation of the capability of a manufactured material to remove arsenic from drinking water. The project was a preliminary assessment to estimate reaction rates, kinetics, and exchange capacities for the manufactured material. The research project assisted Engelhard Corporation in selecting a product line and bringing that product line to market.  As a result, the team has developed some innovative approaches to manage and remove arsenic and phosphate from water and runoff, but additional research is needed.

Smith Paint Project

Mr. Oram led the evaluation of the relationship between the coatings manufactured by Smith Specialty Paints and water-quality-related issues. The primary goal was to make recommendations regarding make-up water quality, identify the cause or causes of water quality problems, and develop/recommend solutions to those problems.

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