BSK Provides Testing Support After Fire Devastation

Metals analysis determines extent of soil contamination after fires.

Fires of recent magnitude have caused a danger to the environment that could potentially take years to clean up. Any building that has burned to a non-salvageable degree has the potential to cause toxic pollution. Immediate concerns include materials and finishes that were used in the construction of these buildings. Most paints used until 1978 contained lead, and from the 1940s to the 1970s, PCB’s were widely added as preservatives. And, until 1990, they also contained mercury. These heavy metals were used to improve flow, durability, flexibility and ironically, to increase resistance to fire damage and moisture. When plastic is burned it also releases toxic chemical fumes (like dioxins, furans and styrene gas) into the air that is harmful for humans and the environment. Many destroyed structures had roofs that may have been shingled in asbestos and filled with treated wood that can release arsenic and chromium when burned. An incinerated television can expose heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. Even seemingly innocuous items, such as collectible antique Fiesta ware crockery, may contain radioactive uranium. Mercury can leak from old thermometers and there may be radioactive isotopes from burned-up antique crock ware, cupboards of incinerated household cleaners, and asbestos from old siding.
Cleanup crews will be looking for things like burned bottles of bleach, melted cans of paint, and corroded car batteries, which will then be tagged and removed. Samples of the surrounding soil are collected for testing, and if needed, will scrape away layers to get to clean earth, free from oil and gasoline. Heavy metals, chemicals and biological contaminants left behind demand a cleanup of extraordinary scale, before any permanent return is safe. It is only after the properties have received certification that they have been remediated that residents can begin rebuilding.
BSK Analytical has vast experience testing soil samples after devastating fires. Our laboratory routinely analyzes soils for metals on a rush basis at very low detection levels. We have automated sample digestion and preparation equipment to achieve higher throughput of samples for this purpose. Our 6 automated systems can prepare over 400 samples overnight for analysis the next morning. In addition, our state-of-the-art autosampler provides for sample introduction that greatly optimizes fast analysis on the ICP/MS without sacrificing low reporting sensitivity.
BSK’s expertise includes the ability to analyze Mercury by ICP/MS rather than the more traditional Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption (CVAA) method. We have perfected ICP/MS mercury analysis allowing for only one digestion and one analysis for the CAM 17 metals, rather than having to perform them separately. ICP/MS is a preferred method for mercury when analyzing samples from a fire site because of the potential for the presence of volatile organics such as benzene generated by melted piping. Some volatile organics can cause positive interference for mercury when analyzed by CVAA.
We are deeply saddened by the devastation felt by those in the communities that fell victim to the fires, but we are excited for the opportunity to be part of the effort to help these communities recover and rebuild.
For more information on wildfires and resulting impacts on water bodies and drinking water please click here to watch this free webinar featured in the EPA ‘s September webinar series.

Support for American Red Cross

Support for American Red Cross

Support for American Red Cross

Photo curtsey of Solano Irrigation District.


BSK is proud to give support for the American Red Cross Western Wildfire Relief Fund, where fire has ravished  entire towns, people, animals, and homes.
From California to Washington, over five million acres, have been decimated by fire. Additionally, thousands of people have been displaced, communities have been severely damaged, and people have lost their lives. The devastation continues to wreck havoc long after the fire have been put out. People can visually witness the after effects, with air quality being some of  poorest on the planet. In fact, there is a layer of smoke from the west coast has reached as far as New York and the Midwest.
Air quality isn’t the only significant after effect.  There is a blanket of ash covering our cities and towns.  Residence all along the west coast walk out of their homes to find ash piled up on their cars and homes. However, it is what has landed on the soil and ground water that is truly devastating. Our soil, lakes, and  reservoirs have been coated in layers upon layers of toxic ash. Much of this ash consists of toxic materials that make the drinking water hazardous.  Essentially, the damage done from these fires will affect the people from the west coast for years to come.

Your donations to the American Red Cross will go to provide relief for those affected, from California to Washington.

BSK would like to give a big thanks to those who have already donated towards this fundraiser. We are very close to reaching our final goal. In addition, we’d love to not only reach our goal but surpass it!
At BSK we strongly believe in giving back to our communities.  Furthermore, we believe the well-being of our communities has a direct effect on the success of  BSK and our employees.

JSAS Support for Construction Compliance Order

JSAS Support for Construction Compliance Order

Effective immediately, San Francisco Bay Area Counties* and the City of Berkeley will require JSAS support for the Construction Compliance Order. The order states, to start or continue with large construction projects, the site must comply with all social distancing and construction project safety protocols. In Appendices A and B-2, the order references Social Distancing and Large Construction Project Safety Protocol, section 2.J. Furthermore, the order requires that a Third-Party Jobsite Safety Accountability Supervisor (JSAS) be assigned to a jobsite to verify compliance with protocols by visual inspection and random worker interviews. Additionally, all JSAS personnel must be OSHA 30-hour certified and hold a current first aid certificate.


Introducing BSK’s Construction Health & Safety Services Group


BSK’s Construction Health & Safety Services Group is here to assist you in your compliance. BSK  is pleased to announce that we can provide COVID-19 essential service project support. In addition, we are JSAS certified to ensure we meet all your needs.

BSK has a long track record of providing customer service and quality assurance to essential services projects.  Additionally, BSK is certified for California for Small Business for Public Works projects. Furthermore, our JSAS professionals have the required safety training and construction experience to verify compliance.

A significant amount of work will be required by construction firms to develop Site-Specific Health and Safety Plans to address COVID-19-related issues. 

Construction firms must provide personal protective equipment (PPE). The PPE materials are specifically for use in construction. Therefore, ensuring safety standards for jobsite specific needs. For instance, some examples include gloves, goggles, face shields, and face coverings. Additionally, Site Specific Health and Safety Plans will need to include:

  • Social Distancing Requirements.
  • Employee PPE Training and Records.
  • Wash Stations or Hand Sanitizers that are Effective Against COVID-19.
  • Daily Attendance Logs.
  • Signage, Cleaning, and Sanitation Practices.
  • Community Spread Reduction Plan.
  • Safety Compliance Officer Requirements.

BSK welcomes the opportunity to discuss your company’s approach to order compliance. This 30-minute teleconference is free of charge. Moreover, the teleconference can help provide you with a basic assessment of your company’s compliance. Above all, BSK wants to help you make this transition as easy as possible.

Let BSK’s Construction Health & Safety Services Group help you with your future COVID-19 Construction Service needs.

The Bay Area Counties and Berkeley issued their own distinct protocols. However, the protocols are much the same.  For more on Bay Area Counties see links.

Contra Costa County

San Mateo County

Marin County

Alameda County

San Francisco County

Santa Clara County

City of Berkely.

* Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. 


BSK is certified for California Small Business for Public Works projects. 


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We strongly believe in giving back to the communities in which we live and work.  Above all, our goal is to have a positive impact on the people we serve.

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Lastly, don’t forget to check out our news section.  Here you will find up to date news and links for past projects.

To Our Clients And Colleagues Regarding COVID-19

To our clients and colleagues:

The team at BSK Associates continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing changes that it is bringing. The recently issued shelter-in-place orders define most of our services as essential services, therefore we remain available to support our clients during this challenging time.

We are focused on maintaining communication with our clients and supporting their projects while observing the directions of the shelter-in-place orders. We will continue to place the highest value on the safety of our team and our responsibility to do our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 throughout our communities. In recognizing the need to minimize potential exposures, we have asked employees who can effectively work from home to do so while ensuring our availability and responsiveness to client requests.

Please reach out to any one of the talented and knowledgeable professionals at BSK should you have any questions or if any assistance is needed.

Stay safe and join us in supporting the interests and future of our communities! BSK Associates

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing


What Are PFAS?

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing.

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing.

PFAS are man-made chemicals that include Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), GenX, and several additional chemicals. In fact, PFAS are made up of more than 3,000 man-made chemicals that are largely unregulated.

The U.S. began manufacturing these chemicals during the 1940’s. In 2006, the EPA launched the PFOA Stewardship Program which eliminated the use of several PFAS chemicals. Unfortunately, the U.S. still receives these PFAS compounds from imported goods from around the world.

PFAS are a concern because they do not break down and therefore bio accumulate over time. Furthermore, food, household products, animals, drinking water, and humans have all tested positive for PFAS. In fact, research has indicated that most people have detectable amounts of PFAS in their blood. Additionally, it is believed that everyone, even those who have not consumed drinking water that has been contaminated, will have some exposure to PFAS during their lifetime.

PFAS exposure can lead to many adverse health effects in humans including (but not limited to) thyroid hormone disruption, liver and kidney toxicity,  reproductive system and developmental damage, low infant birth weights, harmful effects on the immune system, and several different forms of cancer.

What can be done?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) have issued exposure limits for PFAS in our drinking water.  February 6, 2020, the California State Water Resources Control Board announced that it will set new response levels (RLs) of 10 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 40 ppt for PFOS. Previously, the RL was 70 ppt for the total combined concentration of PFOA and PFOS. California has established Notification Levels of 6.5 ppt for PFOS and 5.1 ppt for PFOA in drinking water.

The California State Water Board has already started PFAS testing on 30 airports, and nearly 200 landfills. Recently they requested testing at chrome plating facilities. In addition, the California State Water Board stated they will be requiring other potential PFAS sources to begin testing soon. Although these compounds are not currently fully regulated, it is believed they will be soon. In a release issued by the State Water Board they encouraged public water systems to test for possible contamination.


Why BSK Associates?

Experience, Knowledge, Volume, and Quality.

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing.

BSK Associates & PFAS Testing.

BSK has abundant sample capacity and can add to that capacity quickly.

We were one of the first labs to receive accreditation for testing in California. Furthermore, we have performed PFAS analyses for over 6 years. Subsequently, our laboratory completed thousands of PFAS analyses throughout the U.S. while participating in the EPA’s UCMR3 monitoring program. Therefore, BSK is well versed in reporting and regulatory quality requirements needed for these analytes.

BSK is accredited by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP) and the California Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (CA ELAP) for all 18 PFAS compounds in drinking water by EPA’s 537.1 methodology.

Unlike other labs, we do PFAS sampling according to California State PFAS sampling guidelines. Collection of representative samples for PFAS analysis requires stringent Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QX) measures to prevent sample cross-contamination due to the prevalence of these compounds in the environment. and the opportunity for contamination. BSK Associates can be your one stop shop, rather than having to hire another company for state testing needs.

It is important to be proactive, not only to protect your water system, but to protect the community in which you live. If you think you may have PFAS in your water system begin testing now.

Additionally, BSK can help you budget for additional samples. Please call or email one of the representatives below for more information:

Stephane Maupas (Fresno) – 559-497-2888 x212

Cyndi Moore (Southern California) – 951-295-6123

Elizabeth Bunger (Vancouver, WA) – 360-750-0055 x 403

Brenda Hamilton (Sacramento) – 916-853-9293 x306


Engineering Services are also available!

Our clients depend on BSK to help them navigate the maze of permitting and regulatory compliance requirements in a cost-effective manner that reduces risk. BSK’s highly qualified professional staff can assist with negotiating regulatory compliance. For more information on how BSK can assist with environmental matters related to PFAS, please contact:


Lynne Baumgras, Ph.D., PG, CHG, CEG, PMP

559-497-2880x 516


For more information on PFAS check out the links below:

PFAS Phase Investigation Approach Plan from CA Waterboards

General PFAS Information from BSK

PFAS Information from CA Waterboards

EPA’s PFAS Action Plan

Follow Us and Like Us: 

BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we live and work.  Above all, our goal is to have a positive impact on the people we serve.

Want to be in the “know” on upcoming BSK events, and community service projects?

Have a question about the services we offer? Check out our webpage

Looking for a Great Place to Work? You’ve found it! We are proud to be Great Place to Work certified. Check out our job opportunities page for more details.


BSK is certified for California Small Business for Public Works projects. 

BSK: Understanding Deep Foundations

BSK: Understanding Deep Foundations

 What are Deep Foundations?

Deep foundations are a type of foundation that is used to transfer building loads further down the earth to utilize stable soil. This process is utilized when the existing soil is not stable enough to handle a foundation.

Deep foundations are essential for safety and maintaining the integrity of a building. Especially in California where we have liquification issues within our soil. Proper use of deep foundations will keep a building erect during an earthquake and prevent a structure from collapsing under duress.

Why use a Deep Foundation?

There are several reasons why you would want to use a deep foundation for the integrity of a structure. However, the main reasons would include weak soils, compromised soils, undocumented fills, and liquification.

Weak Soils: Essentially, weak soils is a term used when the existing soils could possibly fail if a shallow foundation were to be used.

Compressible Soils:  These are the soils that have the capability to decrease in volume; soil densification. Basically, when a structure is placed on compressible soil, without deep foundations, over time the soil will compress and pull down.

Undocumented Soil: This term is used when we do not know the stability of the soil.

Liquification: Soil liquification occurs when saturated soil becomes loses strength, usually in an earthquake. Basically, what was solid becomes liquid.

Types of Deep Foundations

There are two main types of Deep foundations; Driven Piles and Drilled Piers. A driven pile is driven into the ground, as you would imagine a nail being driven into a wall with a hammer. In essence, the pile is driven into the earth with a strong hammer. Moreover, with drilled piers, a hole is drilled, a cage is installed, and the hole is filled with concrete.

There are several types of driven piles and drilled piers, there are also specialty piles, such as micro piles.

Driven Piles

Driven Piles usually consist of; Timber Piles, Concrete Piles, Steel Piles.

Timber Piles would usually be used in a marine type environment. They usually last around 30 years and typically support between 15 to 20 tons.

Concrete Piles can be pre-cast or cast-in-place. They are usually reinforced with rebar to prevent breakage. Concrete piles are often used to support buildings that are very heavy; such as a high-rise structure.

There are two types of steel piles; steel H piles and steel pipe piles. H piles are solid piles and often used in commercial construction for bridges and large buildings. Steel piles are often used as an interlocking unit with other sources.

Drilled Piers  

Drilled Piers include Augercast Piers, Helical Piers. While Augercast piers are drilled holes filled with concrete and rebar a helical pier is twisted in and used to lift things up. Often you will see the use of helical piers in situations where foundations need repairs.

Specialty Piles  

In addition to the typical piles and piers referenced above there are several specialty piles that can be used. One of the most popular being Micro piles. Micro piles are usually used for underpinning and are extremely useful in areas that have limited access. They can also be a very cost-effective way to stabilize the foundation. To learn more about deep foundations check out the Deep Foundations Institute.

Why BSK?

BSK’s team of geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists have the technical ability to provide creative, practical, and technologically sound recommendations suited to your budget. We are well versed in the soil and geological conditions throughout California. Furthermore, we have a solid history of providing cost-effective investigations and recommendations for your soil needs.

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BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we work. We make sure our community involvement goals have a positive impact on the communities which we serve; because, in the end, it’s all about community.

Want to be in the “know” on upcoming BSK events, community service, and projects?

Have a question about the services we offer? Check out our webpage

Looking for a Great Places to Work? You’ve found it! We are proud to be Great Place to Work certified. Check out our job opportunities page for more details.




Soil Compaction Testing

Soil Compaction Testing

nuclear density gauge test

Soil Compaction Testing is a crucial step in the construction process. Ground that has not been properly compacted can be detrimental to the structural integrity of buildings, retaining structures, roads and pavements, just to name a few. Essentially, proper soil integrity could make or break your structure. Since soils are so critical to a structures reliability you will find that soil compaction testing is required most cases. For instance, most regulatory agencies such as, the Department of Transportation and American Society for Testing and Materials all require laboratory testing. Additionally, you will find that the California and Uniform Building Codes, the geotechnical engineer, and structural engineers will also require soil compaction testing.

Why Compaction Testing is Important

There is a very good reason for all the necessity. Basically, if soil tests are not conducted you risk shifting, cracking, and even the collapse of your building. Roadways could also result in disaster by cracking, sagging, potholes, or even sinkholes. In the end, it’s vital for the success of your structure to ensure you have reliable soil compaction testing. Moreover, having a company that has a seasoned and knowledgeable staff, as well as testing facility, is critical. Not only will a more experienced staff save you time, it will also save you money.

How soil Compaction Testing Works

A soil compaction test begins with samples. After excavation a field technician will collect soil samples. An experienced field technician will gather samples from several locations to attain representative samples of various soil types that may be on site. Each soil type, or mixture thereof, has different properties and can act in different ways.  A skilled lab technician will be able to recognize the potential properties of each, and be able to determine best spots for soil extraction. It can also be valuable to take a sample from the stockpile. This is usually done if the technician notices that the stockpile soil has different properties than the other site soil, or because several soil types are being blended together.

Once at the laboratory the process of determining the optimum moisture content and maximum dry density will occur. A lab technician will start by sifting and moisture conditioning of the soil. Once the soil is prepped the soil will go into a cylindrical mold to be compacted at various moisture contents and weighted.

The test is to see how much of the material can be compacted into the same volume at the various amounts of moisture. When a material is too dry it can not compress very tightly. As more water is added, it is able to compact in better and better, so it’s dry density (unit weight calculated removing the water weight) is increased. Once it hits the limit that the material will allow, the water starts displacing the material and the dry density will start dropping, creating a “curve”. The peak of this “curve” is considered the maximum dry density and the optimum moisture for that specific material. Again, it is of vital importance to have an experienced lab for this process.

Nuclear Gauge Testing

The last key step in soil compaction testing involves the use of a soils nuclear gauge. Back at the job site, a field technician uses a nuclear gauge that has two radioactive isotopes (roughly the same mass as the head of a pin), and emits extremely small amounts of radiation into the soil. Inside of the machine there are sensors that detect how much of the radiation makes it back to the machine. One of the sources is for detecting the hydrogen content, which is a direct correlation with the moisture content. The other source is for detecting the wet density.

Using both of these readings, the nuclear gauge calculates the in-place dry density. This number is compared to the maximum dry density that was determined by the lab testing and is expressed in the form of a percentage. Typical requirements are between 90% and 95% of the maximum dry density. If the material changes even slightly, it could drastically affect the results indicating failure. An experienced field technician will notice the change and pull another sample for a curve rather than have the contractor keep trying to work the material wasting time and money.

To find out more about soil compaction requirements in California click here.

Why BSK Associates

Soil Compaction Testing

As mentioned previously, having seasoned field and laboratory technician is key in this process. BSK Associates has been in the industry for over 53 years. Our history in the industry  ensures that our clients receives accurate results in a timely manner. We are a dedicated team focused on developing practical, cost-effective solutions for our clients, and working toward constant improvement within our profession.

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BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we work. We make sure our community involvement goals have a positive impact on the communities which we serve; because, in the end it’s all about community.

Want to be in the “know” on upcoming BSK events, community service, and projects?
Like us on Facebook.
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Have a question about the services we offer? Check out our webpage
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What is Superpave?

What is Superpave?

What is Superpave?

The history of Superpave dates to the 1980’s. During that time, it had become apparent that some pavement wasn’t performing as well as others. While one section of highway would be in great shape, just down the road, another section would be degraded and need repair. Due to that, in 1987, congress decided that we needed to improve our highway system. Subsequently allotting $150 million into a 5-year program called the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). The goal of this program was to:

  • Determine why some pavement functioned better than other pavement.
  • Develop guidelines and tests that would ensure all pavement used will hold up to the highest standard.
  • Collaborate within the industry to guarantee the new qualifications were being used.

In 1992, Superpave was introduced. SHRP had found that by implementing 3 mechanisms our asphalt would become more sustainable against extreme weather and heavy traffic conditions. Asphalt binder specifications, a volume mix design and analysis system, and a mix analysis testing became Superpave.

What is Superpave?

Superpave has become a success.

Implementing Superpave on our highways has increased the longevity of our roads. Commuters are not the only ones positively effected by Superpave. For instance, almost all highways in the United States use asphalt pavements. Moreover, the yearly expense for asphalt pavement is over 10 billion. Furthermore, let’s not forget about the environmental impact.  The more sustainable our roads, the more we save. Superpave has done that!

We are proud to be one of the first!

BSK is one of the first Material Testing Laboratories in California to invest in Superpave.

Which means; we have been doing Superpave longer than most. And, experience is everything! Our personnel is not only trained, we have extensive experience in Superpave hot-mix asphalt technology. Our employees are knowledgeable in AASHTO/ASTM test methods, and hold applicable Caltrans certifications.  Additionally, our Livermore materials testing laboratory is accredited by the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL) Program. Along with the Caltrans for testing in accordance with “Superpave” test methods, and Section 39 of the Caltrans Standard Specifications.

We offer Independent Assurance Laboratory & Testing Support.

  • Material Selection: Aggregate QA testing for gradation, evaluation of aggregate blends and binders.
  • Design: Verification of trial blends, asphalt structure, binder content, mix design.
  • Construction: Field QA testing of construction materials including soil, in accordance with ASTM.

What is Superpave?

Our Equipment.

BSK has made significant capital investments to support our clients as you incorporate Superpave in your capital improvement budgets.

First being the Gyratory Compactor, which uses a gyrating motion to improve mix design’s ability to stimulate field compaction. The gyrations chosen are based on design traffic level. We also invested in the Hamburg Wheel Tracker, which checks aggregate structure, binder stiffness, moisture susceptibility.

Saving our clients’ money is always at the top of our list. Superpave helps ensure the pavement will last longer and perform better; Basically, we are saving our clients money!

Follow Us and Like Us: 

BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we work. We believe the well-being of our communities has a direct bearing on the success of BSK, and our employees. We strive to make sure our community involvement goals have a positive impact on the communities which we serve because in the end it’s all about community.

Want to be in the “know” on upcoming BSK Associates events, community service outreach, and projects?

Do you or someone you know want to be a part of our team? Looking for a Great Places to Work? Well, you’ve found it!

We are proud to be Great Place to Work certified. Check out our job opportunities page for more details.

BSK Associates is always seeking diverse talent to join our team. We strive to recruit professional employees committed to success and growth of our company and themselves.
Want a career path with progressive steps and a company willing to train you? Upload your resume here if you want to grow with us. At BSK, you’re not going to be doing “just a job”. And, when you’re happy with us you can bring your friends through our robust employee referral program.

What is Superpave?


BSK: Gem Lake Dam Project

BSK: Gem Lake Dam Project.

BSK photo from helicopter.

BSK: Gem Lake Dam Project.

We are excited to announce that BSK conducted a Geotechnical Engineering Investigation for Gem Lake Dam!

Gem Lake is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range near June Lakes. This rural area is a hiker’s paradise with beautiful trees and lush vegetation.

Gem Lake Dam was originally built in the 1920’s and is a key element of the Rush Creek Hydroelectric System. In fact, Hydroelectric Dam Systems produce 8-12% of the nations power, making these dam systems all the more important. Additionally, this particular hydroelectric system is considered an eligible renewable energy resource! Hence, all the more reason that BSK is so proud to be a part of this project.

Part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requirements is to have the ability to control water levels of these lakes. Thus, ensuring that in the case of a natural disaster, the public will be safe. Southern California Edison (SCE), who own the 3 dams that make up the Rush Creek hydroelectric system, is in the process of retrofitting these dams to guarantee the safety of the residents who live downstream of the dam.

How Are We Helping.

Gem Lake Dam is a reinforced concrete Arch Dam which consists of several arches. BSK’s responsibilities included the Geotechnical engineering investigation for the proposed valve replacement for Arch 8. This consists of; field exploration, laboratory testing, and engineering analysis. Basically, BSK will be assessing the condition of the soil below the new valve. Additionally, we will provide recommendations to the project designers for moving forward. Field exploration on this project began October of 2019. Site reconnaissance included geological survey, rock sampling, and ground resistivity testing. In addition, we conducted laboratory testing on the samples. These tests included; unconfined compression testing of rock; basically measuring how much force is needed to crush the rocks.


Gem Lake History and Findings.

BSK: Gem Lake Dam Project.

This will not be the first time the dam has seen work over its almost 100 years of existence. In fact, shortly after its conception, the dam began to show signs of deterioration. Upon investigation it was found that a high water/cement ratio was used, causing the efflorescence and deterioration. This finding, along with other concrete studies, is why the American Concrete Institute now recommends a water/cement ratio of no more than 0.45 for poured concrete. In turn, these types of regulations and findings led to the conception of what we do at BSK.

Why We Love It.

Earthquakes, floods, fires, and other natural disasters have taught us what needs to be done to keep the public safe. We have learned what our soil, buildings, water,  and roads need to withstand natural disasters. Due to this, we have enacted rules and regulations. BSK has Engineers and Geologists that are trained and educated to know how buildings need to be erected; what soil/foundation standards need to be in place. We have inspectors that are licensed to know if a buildings weld joints will react accordingly in an earthquake.  We have laboratories that can test if the water system has been exposed to an outside contaminant. In essence, our work at BSK deals with keeping the public safe. Above all, we take pride in knowing that what we do on a daily basis at BSK makes our communities safer and stronger!

BSK has Engineers and Geologists that are trained and educated to know how buildings need to be erected.

BSK: Gem Lake Dam Project.

Lastly, don’t forget to take a look at the view of Gem Lake Dam from a helicopter here.

Follow Us and Like Us: 

BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we work. We make sure our community involvement goals have a positive impact on the communities which we serve; because, in the end, it’s all about community.

Want to be in the “know” on upcoming BSK events, community service, and projects?

Have a question about the services we offer? Check out our webpage

Looking for a Great Places to Work? You’ve found it! We are proud to be Great Place to Work certified. Check out our job opportunities page for more details.



Arroyo Del Valle Bridge

Arroyo Del Valle Bridge.

Thanks to the efforts of the Tri-Valley Conservancy the Tri-Valley Trails are being connected!













The Arroyo del Valle Regional Trail, in Sycamore Park, will no longer lead visitors and wildlife to a dead-end trail. With the addition of the Arroyo Del Valle Bridge, the area has become part of a continuous 44-mile regional trail into Del Valle Regional Park, Ohlone Regional Wilderness, Sunol Regional Wilderness, and Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Connecting the 5 parks will allow visitors seventeen times the trails to peruse. Furthermore, this connection will enable access for people with strollers, cyclists, and those with disabilities. As for the wildlife, they benefit from the bridge too! Connecting the bridge enabled an interconnected habitat. It’s an amazing win for the entire community!


BSK’s Contribution to the Arroyo Del Valle Bridge.

BSK’s Livermore Office is proud to be part of the Tri-Valley Conservancy’s team for the construction of the Arroyo Del Valle Bridge. BSK supported the Arroyo Del Valle Bridge project with observation of helical anchor installation, earthwork compaction testing, reinforced concrete inspections for the bridge abutments, and high-strength bolting inspections.  Sequentially, we know this bridge was inspected by the best in the business! Additionally, we’d like to give a big thanks to Danaige Tower, Michael Romero, David Eckhardt, KC Clark, Omar Khan, Veronica Rager, Don Steckbar and Dennis Ness for their support to the project. Check out the photos below to see the BSK crew in action!

Prefabricated bridge halves prior to bolting.

 Arroyo Del Valle Bridge.

Also, a bridge fit-up. 134 total bolts were used at the connection.









 Arroyo Del Valle Bridge.

Additionally, we have a bolting inspection by Dennis Ness.

 Arroyo Del Valle Bridge.

At last, bridge assembled and ready for the pick.








lastly, bridge is done.

Lastly, we are complete!



On Friday, September 27th, the bridge assembly was completed, lifted into place, and anchored to the abutments.  Many thanks to the Tri-Valley Conservancy for the invitation to watch the bridge pick and including members of our project team at the event!

You can read more about this project at

Additionally, if you are in the area don’t forget to check out this trail!

Follow Us and Like Us: 

BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities in which we work. We make sure our community involvement goals have a positive impact on the communities which we serve; because, in the end it’s all about community.

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Have a question about the services we offer? Check out our webpage

Looking for a Great Places to Work? You’ve found it! We are proud to be Great Place to Work certified. Check out our job opportunities page for more details.