Welcome to the BSK Family!

Welcome to the BSK Family!

Welcome Tina Green! BSK’s Newest Business Development Associate

BSK is excited to welcome our newest Business Development Associate, Tina Green, to the BSK Family!  Tina has over 27 years of environmental laboratory experience  in Project Management with DOD and CLP type drinking water, wastewater and groundwater testing projects.  Her experience also includes extensive courier management overseeing sampling and pickup schedules in the Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Central Coast and Northern California areas for her former employer, BC Labs.  Tina will be working out of BSK’s Bakersfield branch as she looks to build our laboratory business in the Central Valley and beyond.  If you need to reach Tina directly her BSK cell phone number is:  559-262-7036.  Or by email at:  tgreen@bskassociates.com.  Congratulations Tina on your new role with BSK!  We look forward to working with you!

“I’m excited to be part of the BSK team and look forward to developing relationships with our customers to ensure they receive the best service possible.” 

Tina Green

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 @bskassociates.com.

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.

UCMR5 is Coming!

UCMR5 is Coming!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the reproposed Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR5) for Public Water Systems. This action fulfills a key commitment in EPA’s PFAS Action Plan by proposing monitoring for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. The action also proposes monitoring for lithium. The UCMR5 proposal includes monitoring for six PFAS that were part of UCMR3, now using new analytical methods that support lower reporting levels. The proposal would require pre-sampling preparations in 2022, sample collection from 2023-2025, and reporting of final results through 2026. The proposed rule reflects a significant increase in the number of participating small systems, from the typical 800 to approximately 6,000 small systems, dependent on appropriations.

 

EPA will host two identical virtual meetings (via webinar) on April 6 and 7, 2021, to discuss the proposed UCMR 5. The meeting scope will include proposed monitoring requirements, analyte selection, analytical methods, laboratory approval process, and ground water representative monitoring plans (GWRMPs). EPA will provide additional information once the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

 

BSK has notified the EPA of our intent to participate in the UCMR 5 study.

BSK Assists in Cuyama Buckhorn Hotel Remodel

BSK Assists in Cuyama Buckhorn Hotel Remodel

BSK proudly performed the geotechnical engineering and provided construction materials testing and special inspection for the newly remodeled Cuyama Buckhorn hotel and restaurant. BSK’s services during construction included soil compaction testing, concrete sampling testing and special inspection services for the new pool, and spa and new lobby.

The newly remodeled Cuyama Buckhorn hotel has been featured in several prestigious media outlets including Forbes, Hospitality Design, and Aprils issue of the Food & Home Magazine. Just to name a few. For more information about the Cuyama Buckhorn Hotel remodel please follow the link!

Press Room — Cuyama Buckhorn

BSK Assists in Cuyama Buckhorn Hotel Remodel

BSK Assists in Cuyama Buckhorn Hotel Remodel

 BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

 BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

 BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

BSK Laboratories can now meet all California PFAS analysis and monitoring requirements with our recent DoD ELAP Accreditation.

Our laboratories have performed PFAS analyses for over 8 years.  During that time, the laboratory completed thousands of EPA Method 537 analyses while participating in the EPA’s UCMR3 monitoring program as well as Drinking Water analysis by EPA 537.1.

BSK is well versed in reporting and regulatory quality requirements needed for these analytes and we are now ready to accept your groundwater and soil samples.

BSK Certified PFAS compounds

 BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

 

CA Accreditations:

  • Drinking Water – EPA 537.1
  • Non-potable Water – DoD QSM v. 5.1
  • Soils/Solids/Haz Waste – DoD QSM v. 5.1

Additional capabilities:

Drinking water by EPA 533

For more information please contact: 

Stephane Maupas (Fresno) – 559-497-2888 x212 or smaupas@bskassociates.com

Cyndi Moore (Southern California) – 951-295-6123 or cmoore@bskassociates.com

Renea Rangell (Pacific Northwest) – 360-750-0055 x405 or rrangell@bskassociates.com

Brenda Hamilton (Sacramento) – 916-853-9293 x306 or bhamilton@bskassociates.com

Not only is BSK’s analytical laboratory certified for PFAS testing, but BSK’s engineering division also has experience in PFAS sampling, investigations, agency negotiations and mitigation.  If there are any questions or if our engineering division can be of further assistance please contact Robert “Tony” Martin, PG (CA) at tmartin@bskassociates.com or (916) 853-9293 x.338

 

Additional PFAS Information Can Also Be Found at:

CA Water Board PFAS FAQs

Sampling Guidelines

US EPA PFAS Information

 BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

BSK CA ELAP Certified for DoD PFAS Method

 

What Are PFAS?

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.

Click here for more information on PFAS and how BSK Associates can help!

Are you aware of the California SWRCB’s PFAS orders for:

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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 @www.bskassociates.com.

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 Associates Laboratory

BSK Associates’ Laboratory was recently tapped by Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle) to perform analytical testing for the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow, California. Services include testing and reporting of numerous analytical constituents in drinking water and groundwater matrices to support the installation’s compliance programs. The contract is in place through October 2022. We appreciate the opportunity and look forward to working with Battelle on this project.

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.

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 smaupas@bskassociates.com

Cyndi Moore (Southern California) – 951-295-6123 cmoore@bskassociates.com

Elizabeth Bunger (Vancouver, WA) – 360-750-0055 x 403 ebunger@bskassociates.com

Brenda Hamilton (Sacramento) – 916-853-9293 x306 bhamilton@bskassociates.com

 

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

lbaumgras@bskassociates.com

 

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 @www.bskassociates.com.

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.

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 @bskassociates.com.

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.