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Tracking Diffuse TCE Plumes with Low-Level MIP - Webinar Available

Posted by John Sohl on Aug 16, 2017 3:17:20 PM

 Mature groundwater plumes for environmental contaminants pose a complex challenge with regards to accurate delineation of sources, vertical and lateral extent, dominant pathways, and likely storage zones for residual contaminants.  It is not uncommon for plumes from multiple sources to commingle and diffuse across a relatively large distance and a varied hydrogeological spatial volume. As a result, uncertainty in the accuracy of the conceptual site model (CSM) increases, and in turn the associated risk assessment, and the costs contemplated for cleanup alternatives.  Better data resolution and scale are required to reduce these uncertainties.  Low-Level Membrane Interface Probe Technology with Hydraulic Profiling (HPT) provides one approach for obtaining cost-effective and reliable high-resolution data, at a more informative scale in order to improves CSMs and enable better decision-making.

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, SmartData Solutions®, TCE, VOC

Should Site Assessments Be Conducted Through Traditional Sampling, Groundwater Monitoring Wells, or Direct Sensing Methods?

Posted by John Sohl on May 16, 2016 10:15:10 PM

 It is safe to say that 99% of all site assessments are either conducted through traditional sampling, groundwater monitoring wells, or direct sensing methods. As a leading site investigation partner to environmental consultants throughout North America and Hawaii, COLUMBIA Technologies specializes in soil and groundwater contamination assessments.

Since 1999, we have completed over 750 site assessments for some of the most discriminating clients including oil companies, government agencies, commercial real estate owners, developers, as well as architectural and engineering firms. Throughout all of our testing and experiences to date, we believe that using a comprehensive High Resolution Vertical Profiling approach seems to be the most cost-effective and accurate method to assess a contaminated site. This consists of direct sensing technologies to delineate the vertical and horizontal extent of the contamination to pinpoint the location. Once this information is known, following up with confirmation soil and groundwater samples would take place to validate the contaminant of concern.

The direct sensing technologies may cost more up front, however they assure that accurate information is being collected to move forward with designing remediation plans. In addition, our patented real-time data services platform, SmartData Solutions®, is able to produce high resolution visualizations through a secured website for online review of project data.

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Tags: Laser Induced Fluorescence, Membrane Interface Probe, News, SmartData Solutions®, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC)

How Comprehensive Site Assessments and Better Data with Integrated Technologies Makes a Difference

Posted by John Sohl on Aug 24, 2011 11:31:44 PM

 Would a comprehensive site assessment and better data with multiple technology integration make a difference in your overall scope? Before you answer that question, think about whether or not having better, more accurate, and real-time information would motivate you to change your investigation technique on your next project. Are you actually interested in having data that accurately depicts the plume, delineates your source area, and multiple lines of evidence on your subsurface contamination? Or, would you rather “drill blind” and continue to sample areas where you think there may be contamination and install monitoring wells at the wrong depth and location incurring additional costs and time?

If having better data would actually change the way you would execute your project, design a remediation plan, or install monitoring wells, please read on. If you disagree, you may also continue to read, but the thoughts below may conflict with your perspective. Just saying, we warned you.

Data which is collected with advanced direct sensing tools (such as the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP)Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), or Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT)) provide a greater level of detail for characterizing the local site geology, a more in depth understanding of the hydrology, and deeper insight into the contaminant chemistry of your site. Wouldn’t all of this allow you to make more informed decisions?

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), SmartData Solutions®, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), MIP

SmartData Solutions® helps reduce project work scope by 50%

Posted by John Sohl on Sep 14, 2010 5:56:36 PM

COLUMBIA Technologies’ state-of-the-art equipment and rapid 3D visualizations combined with historical data completed a site assessment so efficiently that the original project work scope was reduced by 50%.

On this recently completed project, a major energy company required state clearance from regulators prior to advancing their expansion plans at an active petroleum refinery facility in western North Dakota.

Historical data indicated potential contamination in the expansion area requesting for rapid resolution to address regulatory concerns. The client engaged in a site assessment with COLUMBIA to map the area of concern and compare this with the historical data using COLUMBIA’s award winning SmartData Solutions®. With a dynamic work scope and real-time data measurement the team bound the area of concern and closed data gaps to reduce the problem at hand for the client as well as the regulatory agencies.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, Laser Induced Fluorescence, LIF, LNAPL, News, SmartData Solutions®

Developers go underground with help of COLUMBIA Technologies

Posted by admin on May 6, 2010 10:25:19 AM

Article originally featured in The Daily Record May 6, 2010 Issue

 One of the companies in the new Maryland Clean Energy Incubator at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is trying to make real estate development easier and faster.

Columbia Technologies, launched by two engineers in 1999, uses sensors to determine what kind of pollution is underneath a future or existing building site, turning weeks of waiting for an environmental analysis often needed in redevelopment projects into a few hours.

"We're able to get an answer quickly in high resolution that's easy to understand," said John H. Sohl, chief executive officer and co-founder of Columbia Technologies. "So you can move the market elements of a property transaction much faster."

The company's technology works by inserting a probe in the ground, sending data about the contaminants it detects in the soil to a computer. A three-dimensional, high-resolution image of the underground area covering about 50 feet is generated. Information on the underground contaminants is collected and used in the planning of the project.

"A developer is going to want to know how big and extensive the problem is and how much it's going to cost to bring it back to fruitful use," said Sohl, a former nuclear submarine captain.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, John Sohl, News, SmartData Solutions®

TCE Contamination Logged Using MIP with SmartData Solutions®

Posted by John Sohl on Sep 21, 2009 12:20:03 PM

Article originally featured in the Probing Times, the official newsletter of Geoprobe Systems® Fall 2009 Issue

 A warehousing facility for an equipment manufacturer had undergone several rounds of investigation and remediation to determine the extent of TCE contamination. The distribution of TCE on this several acre site in Los Angeles County, CA, was strongly controlled by thin-layer geology. And after more than a decade of investigating, the extent of the contamination was still not fully understood.

Long before the fieldwork began, Columbia Technologies, based in Baltimore, MD, worked closely with GeoTrans in Irvine, CA, the site consultant, to develop a scope of work that would allow Columbia Technologies to characterize the vertical distribution of TCE across the site in just a few days of fieldwork using the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP).

"Of critical importance," according to Lauren Steely, Columbia's West Coast Operations Manager, "was our ability to push the MIP system to a 70-ft. depth at one location while avoiding cross-contamination of a deep sand unit."

Lauren enlisted the assistance of Millennium Environmental in Anaheim, one of Columbia's southern California service partners, to provide a Geoprobe® 6600/PC111 and field team for the project. The Millennium team pushed the MIP logging system through a conductor casing to prevent shallow contaminated groundwater from impacting the deeper aquifer.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, Membrane Interface Probe, MIP, SmartData Solutions®, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC)

Baltimore County Company Making Green by Helping Others Stay Green

Posted by admin on Jul 1, 2005 2:55:55 PM

Article originally featured in The Daily Record July 1, 2005 Issue

A green company that saves businesses greenbacks. What could be better than that? Nothing, say executives at Columbia Technologies LLC.

"We have a broad appeal," said Ned Tillman, president and co-founder. "Environmental types like us for our less invasive procedures, but businesses like us because we can save them a lot of money. We're in a pretty good position."

The 6-year-old company has found a clean and fast way to measure subsurface pollution. While giving the environmentally concerned reason to cheer, Columbia is doing its share to keep commerce, particularly the real estate marketing, humming.

"Real estate transactions can close a lot faster now," Tillman said. "Before, a lot of deals would fall apart because of the time it would take to find out if there was contamination on a property. With our technology you can know that in a day."

The Catonsville-based company is now entering a growth phase. After spending its first three to four years engaged mostly in research and product development, the company has experienced "significant growth" over the past two years, according to Tillman. Business is expected to increase 15 to 20 percent annually for the next several years.

Columbia currently does about $2 million in annual revenue and is profitable, CEO and co-founder John Sohl said.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, John Sohl, News, SmartData Solutions®