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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.

 

 

 

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 @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.