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BSK selected for on-call contract

BSK selected for on-call contract

BSK has provided the City of Fremont with on-call materials testing and special inspection services since 2016. As part of this on-going contract, #BSK has provided support to the City’s annual pavement rehabilitation projects and also directly supplemented the City’s in-house laboratory. Our initial on-call contract with the City expired at the end of 2020 and subsequently the City solicited another on-call contract Request for Qualifications for a period of up to 5 years to which BSK responded and was selected by the City for the new agreement. BSK is thankful to have the opportunity to continue supporting the City of Fremont where typical services include onsite and offsite materials sampling and testing for earthwork, concrete, and hot mix asphalt construction.

 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. 

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.

Beltway Operational Improvement Project

BSK Associates has proudly partnered with NV5 to provide Quality Assurance Materials Testing services for the Beltway Operational Improvement Project, an $81 million project as part of the City of Bakersfield’s Thomas Roads Improvement Program. This project includes operational improvements to interchange ramps and the construction of auxiliary lanes, retaining walls, and sound walls to improve safety and traffic operations along the SR 58 corridor east of SR 99 to Cottonwood Road, and at the SR 99/Ming Avenue Interchange.

 

Beltway Operational Improvement Project photo by City of Bakersfield.

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.

 

 

 

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?

 

Iron-Titanium Ore

Iron-Titanium Ore (magnetite – ilmenite), from the Tahawus Mine in Newcomb, NY. 

BSK’s Lynne Baumgras, Ph.D., PG,CEG, PMP, and BSK Environmental Group Manager, educates us about an Iron-Titanium Ore rock, that she has in her collection for Earth Science Week!

This rock is from the Marcy massif of the Grenville complex which forms the core of the Adirondack Mountains.  This rock is Precambrian in age and is one of the oldest rocks found on the planet at an age of more than 1 billion years old.  As this rock is a titaniferous magnetite, it has magnetic properties.  Because it contains iron, it is also extremely heavy!  The formula for magnetite is Fe3O4, and the formula for Ilmenite is Fe2TiO3.

The History

The Tahawus Mine is located in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State, near the headwaters of the Hudson River.  The mining community settlement of Tahawus was settled there in the 1800s and was visited frequently by Teddy Roosevelt in the early 1900s, but is now a ghost town.   This deposit where this rock was found was discovered in 1826 when a party crossed the Hudson River.

Mining in the Tahawus Mine began in the 1830s and by the 1840s it was supplying ore for the first cast-steel plant in America (Adirondack Iron and Steel Company, Jersey City, N.J.).  Eventually, the iron ore was thought to be uneconomic because it was tainted with the black ilmenite ore which contains titanium.  In 1908, a French metallurgist discovered the suitability of titanium for use as a white paint pigment.  The mine was extensively developed during, and after, World War II where it was exploited for titanium.  Titanium was used during the war for smoke screen chemicals, among other uses.  The mine was operated until the 1980s by the National Lead Company.  Titanium is used today for alloys and light metals.  Titanium is as strong as steel but much less dense.

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?

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 Pays it Forward

BSK pays it forward at the Central California Food Bank

BSK Associates Fresno staff volunteered at the Central California Food Bank Saturday, September 14th, 2019. Our volunteers assisted by preparing for local distribution for our communities; such as building school bags, packing meal boxes, and sorting food donations for 5 local counties.

“Once you start getting into giving back, it’s addictive.” Said Carmen Chacon, Office Administrator at BSK.

Central California Food Bank serves Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern, and Madera counties. The work they have done in their fight against hunger is impressive. The program feeds approximately 280,000 people each month. Moreover, the Central California Food Bank has several programs set up to help reach everyone in the community. Some programs include the Mobile Pantry Program, set up to distribute food in rural communities in the area. The Neighborhood Market Program, which sets up a free farmers market type event in disadvantaged areas of the community. Or, the BackPack Program, which supplies local children with a backpack full of food that will last through the weekend.

BSK Pays it Forward

BSK Pays it Forward

Their fight against hunger is a cause BSK Associates wants to help fight! Not only did BSK employees show up to the event but they brought their children and family too.

“I found more joy in seeing all the children working so hard and having fun”. Chacon said.

BSK strongly believes in giving back to the communities. We believe the well-being of our communities has a direct bearing on the success of BSK and our employees. Our community involvement goals are to have the most positive impact on the communities which we serve and, have our employees continue to make a difference in their communities through personal, office and firm sponsored activities.

 

 

BSK rides Olli to Work

BSK rides Olli to Work: first ever co-created, 3D printed, self-driving shuttle.

Featuring Morgan Antaramian, Geologist at BSK Sacramento office.

BSK rides to work in Olli, first ever co-created, 3D printed, self-driving shuttle. Olli was developed by Local Motors and launched for the first time in National Harbor, Maryland in June of 2016. This August, Olli made his introduction at the White Rock Corporate Campus business park, in the City of Rancho Cordova, home to BSK’s Sacramento office.

Olli takes innovation to the next level! This environmentally friendly, self-driving shuttle also acts as a personal assistant during your journey. For instance, curious about the weather forecast, ask Ollie. Want some advice on local restaurants, Ollie can assist. Olli comes equipped with IBM Watson LoT technology to help answer any questions you may have during the duration of your ride, and Olli can be customized for the riders and cities in which he is located.

Featuring Kevin Grove, BSK’s Environmental Group Manager of the Sacramento office.

This 8-passenger shuttle can see 360 degrees and its riders are always being monitored by a human. Thus, making Olli a relatively safe way to get around. The Rancho Cordova Olli has an attendant on board with an emergency brake for added safety.

“Riding Olli is an excellent solution for the first/last mile dilemma that has plagued public transit. I can not wait to see this at airports, sporting events, and downtown!” Kevin Grove, Environmental Group Manager of the Sacramento office, said.

Rancho Cordova has the privilege of being the first city to test Olli’s capabilities in a business park setting. Will it cut down on traffic? Will it be easier to get to work or go on a lunch break? Well, we don’t have the answers to that question yet, but we sure do know it’s fun to ride!

 

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?

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.