landfill technology

Using Data to Maximize Landfill Gas Efficiencies

September 23, 2021

Recorded September 23, 2021, On-Demand Below

Our SCS Client Webinar focuses on landfill gas maintenance and how Landfill Operators create more efficient operations using their monitoring data. Scott Messier, Site Operations Manager at the Monterey Regional Waste Management District, will join us to describe how he finds efficiencies.

Our panel discusses common operational challenges such as locating new LFG wells, locating the cause of odors or surface emission monitoring hits, determining the cause of LFG migration to probes, identifying obstructions in the header network, getting more gas for a power plant and preventing migration, and identifying elevated temperature conditions.

Watch Now: Using Data to Maximize Landfill Gas Efficiencies

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:00 pm

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, imagine what a snapshot of your well field is worth! | SCS Engineers

September 1, 2021

SCSeTools - landfill and landfill gas technology

Landfill data collection and analysis are more tactical than ever, and landfill technology provides methods to manage and use the data to create efficiencies. With the implementation of the NESHAP, NSPS/EG requirements, Landfill Operators will monitor more often and maintain more records. Data collection mechanisms will likely broaden soon to include drone and satellite data collection as acceptable for agency requirements.

Our September 23, 2021, SCS’s Client Webinar focuses on landfill gas maintenance and how Operators find efficiencies by monitoring and collecting LFG data. Using SCS eTools, the webinar includes common scenarios at landfills and answers several questions, including:

  • How are landfill operators managing these millions of bits of data for operations, compliance reporting, and managing their landfill staff on single and multiple sites?
  • What features are most important to have in data monitoring and collection systems?
  • How does mobile technology increase efficiencies?

Demonstrations include:

  • Locating new LFG wells,
  • The cause of odors or surface emission monitoring hits by inspectors,
  • The cause of LFG migration to probes,
  • Identify obstructions in the header network,
  • Getting more gas for a power plant and preventing migration,
  • Identifying elevated temperature conditions,
  • Creating report libraries for regulatory compliance.

 

Register here for SCS’s Client Webinar: Using Data to Maximize Landfill Gas Efficiencies

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Engineers Founder Tom Conrad Honored by SWANA with the Robert L. Lawrence Award

August 13, 2021

Leading environmental engineers, consultants, and contracting firm in the U.S.
Tom Conrad, Bob Stearns, and Curt Schmidt were the founders of SCS Engineers in 1970.

 

The International Awards Committee and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Board of Directors unanimously voted to honor Tom Conrad, the “C” in SCS, with the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award at WASTECON 2021 in November. The Lawrence award is the highest accolade SWANA bestows on a member of the waste management industry, reserved for those making meaningful and lasting contributions.

“I’m honored and humbled to be selected for the Robert L. Lawrence Award. I thank you and am especially thankful for what SWANA and SCS are today,” stated Tom Conrad.

SWANA recognizes Conrad for over 60 years of significant influence on the waste management and environmental services industry. Conrad, a Founder, Executive Vice President, and Director Emeritus of SCS Engineers, dedicated his career to advancing solid waste management, most notably through the founding of SCS Engineers (Stearns, Conrad, and Schmidt Consulting Engineers) more than 51 years ago.

Tom Conrad worked on a wide range of environmental engineering projects touching almost every aspect of solid waste management throughout his career.  As an environmental engineering firm and consultant to the newly created US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the founders recognized that responsible solid waste management was increasingly important for protecting the environment and the health and safety of the general public.

Leading SCS, he helped the EPA develop the first federal regulations for sanitary landfills, managing and capturing landfill gas, waste sorting protocols, sludge management, and land remediation.

Environmental services, including wastewater management, were always a significant part of SCS services and the waste industry. When new regulatory policies began expanding in the ’80s, SCS’s techniques, technology, and expertise helped a broad range of industries comply with environmental needs and continues today with the firm’s greenhouse gas, landfill technology, renewable energy, remediation, and sustainable materials management programs.

Conrad is also known for hiring and mentoring today’s SCS leaders, many of whom are SWANA leaders, by creating and fostering SCS’s culture encouraging employee participation in industry associations, community, and SCS’s mentorship and leadership programs.

 

Leading environmental engineers, consultants, and contracting firm in the U.S.
SCS’s current executive leadership and SWANA members, Bob Gardner (Solid Waste), Jim Walsh (CEO), with Tom Conrad, and Mike McLaughlin (Environmental Services).

 

Before his retirement in 2016, Conrad held professional engineering licenses in 24 states. He was a member of SWANA, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Waste and Recycling Association, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

He maintains his “work hard – play hard” lifestyle. He is active at SCS, participating in Board of Director meetings and speaking at the Young Professionals Group events and celebrations. While no longer mountain climbing and biking cross-country, he has a vigorous walking, swimming, and biking schedule.

 

An icon at SCS Engineers and at home, Tom is not slowing down – he has more playtime now!

 

Congratulations, Tom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Stephens Works to Take GIS to Next Levels for Landfill Data Collection and Analyses

July 12, 2021

Joy Stephens and Mel Russo using a drone to gather and a laptop to collect and see landfill readings.

 

In her first job at SCS Engineers, Joy Stephens worked in a small trailer, consolidating and analyzing data from landfill field techs’ notes, recorded in logbooks they lugged around while navigating the challenging site terrain, then brought to her covered in leachate and mud.

Transcribing can be messy.

She cross-referenced their detailed, handwritten records with a master list posted on a wall, organized, and methodically examined them. Then she turned them into actionable intel for SCS’s engineers and scientists.

“That was definitely easier said than done. It was a lot of work – a lot of hours to make sure that we were ready for the next day. It struck me that there’s got to be a better way. That we could make collecting and using this valuable information easier for the field staff and OM&M (Operations, Monitoring & Maintenance),” she says.

 

GIS Supports Wellfield Operations

From that inspiration came a lot of brainstorming, developing, and tweaking what today is a powerful yet user-friendly GIS system that stores and organizes volumes of geographical information in one place and gives users what they need fast to troubleshoot landfill conditions. The customizable application is now used at hundreds of landfills across the country, mainly to support wellfield operations, though it has other landfill system applications.

Wellfield liquid levels and detail at a glance.

 

Field techs enter information onto digital forms using a mobile app and submit the data, uploading it to the cloud. OM&M teams have it in a streamlined format in a couple of minutes and can visualize what they are looking for on maps from a dashboard.

The technology that Stephens was an integral player in launching continues to evolve, and there’s a story behind that evolution.

“In the beginning, I reached out to this brilliant young lady, Brooke Aumann, from the Tampa office, who does a lot of GIS work. I had some GIS experience myself, but more landfill knowledge. I picked her brain so we could set up a digital replacement for the logbooks that zeroed in on exactly what the field techs and project managers needed to support our clients,” says Stephens, an environmental scientist.

Together, the two women created experimental web maps to plot and visualize basic information such as the location of each monitoring point, points requiring the collection of liquid levels, and the status of maintenance tasks at each well. Then they developed digital survey forms with more detailed information and connected those forms to the maps; this enabled end-users to overlay even more data for a holistic snapshot of what goes on at wellfields.

“We tried different configurations of web maps and symbology to depict best what we wanted to convey. We talked about what we needed to symbolize and how we needed to symbolize it. And we discussed possibilities for future developments. We knew much more was possible in terms of what we could collect, how all of these data are connected, and how we could exploit the software to better tackle more complex tasks,” Stephens says.

 

From maps to interfacing data forms to the next level X-ray vision

“Now we’ve gone a step further. We’re doing 3D well visualizations, which give a kind of Superman X-ray vision subsurface. You are literally looking beneath to the well to get good intel,” Stephens says.

Wellfield visualization allows you to see the subsurface field and well conditions, including pumps.

 

Traversing the World

With undergraduate degrees in Mandarin Chinese and geology and graduate degrees in teaching science and environmental management, Stephens has long loved learning, the environment, and nature.

“When I was young, my parents were missionaries, and I grew up in the most beautiful, pristine, remote areas, like the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – so unspoiled and lovely.”

It was a sharp contrast to what she would see later when she moved with her young son to China, where she taught math and science. The air quality was poor, and the streets and landscape were inundated with litter.

That experience was the final push that landed the young professional at the foot of a career path she’d considered for some time; environmental sciences. She’d taught it before, but a voice inside her was telling her to pivot and actually start doing the work.

Stephens found her way into a program at a university in Scotland after researching graduate environmental management programs worldwide. At this prestigious learning institution, she first worked with remote sensors and GIS, identifying and addressing “waste crimes,” namely illegal dumping.

 

Seizing the opportunity to apply her expertise

After graduation, the teacher-turned-scientist took her education and experience back to the United States and SCS Engineers. The company was not foreign to her. By the time she applied, she had made as much a project of vetting employers as she had of scoping out universities. Two draws drew her attention:

“There is the ethos; SCS is genuinely committed to the environment. And the other part that was important to me is SCS is very invested in professional growth and training to foster that growth. I believed that I would have opportunities to move up,” Stephens reflects, recalling when she said yes to the first job working with those logbooks that would be the catalyst to what was to come.

When she came on board, she had to gain practical experience in the solid waste industry and learn the ropes in the field, in addition to her prior experience in renewable energy.  In time she had learned her way around landfill gas collection wells, then kept building on that knowledge.

“I asked a ton of questions. Why are we monitoring for this? What constitutes good gas quality? Why is it important to know liquid levels? What is the difference between vacuum and flow? I think asking all these questions, collecting field data myself, and watching what the guys in the field had to do, gave me a good base understanding to help inform how we would capture the right information using GIS. It was a collaborative effort. Brooke worked on many landfill projects and my colleague, Chris Carver, had 16 years of field and project management work. It all came together.”

She later joined the RMC team (Remote Monitoring and Controls), where she received further training in GIS and mastered other skill sets. Today she is a project professional specializing in GIS and drone services.

 

At home with waste management

The hybrid techie-artist in Stephens comes out when she makes an analogy that tells a little of how her wheels turn.

She grew up playing Legos and now, at almost 40 years old, still builds with them at home with her son.

She approaches the job the same way as when she assembles those sets.

“You know the pieces fit to make something, but it takes creativity to figure out just how to build it and make it as visually pleasing and functional as you can, or to get it to function in different ways. I try to configure and piece together for the best possible design,” she says.

Stephens has married that approach with a desire to be a part of both restoring and protecting the environment. She thinks she’s in the right place to act on that intention.

“I feel like work with waste management and SCS is a way to achieve what I think is so important. We are trying to protect, remediate, and leave conditions better than we found them. That is what being a good steward is all about.”

See Joy Stephens at work in her recent educational presentation for landfill owners and operators. Joy demonstrates technologies to reduce the time to collect, process, and show data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:24 am

Inductive Automation Podcast: Improving Sustainability in Waste Management

July 8, 2021

 

David Hostetter from SCS Engineers® and Dennis Siegel from Waste Management® are the feature speakers on Inductive Conversations, a podcast about the unique processes and challenges within the waste management industry, from residential to the engineering and life cycles of landfills.

Dave and Dennis discuss how operational improvements are being made in this essential service and its environmental footprint. They dive into the 24/7 maintenance and monitoring of landfills, adjusting to changing conditions in real-time, reducing cost, generating renewable energy, improving the health and safety of operators, and being proactive in a changing world. We also hear about an Ignition-based solution called Connected Landfills that improves connectivity, mobility, and visualization by using data science to facilitate better decisions.

Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  Google Play  |  PodBean  |  TuneIn

 

See more technology in our recent video – landfills are now able to see subsurface well conditions. It’s better than x-ray vision!

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Melissa Russo Thirsts for Knowledge and Enjoys Competition

June 3, 2021

 

When Melissa Russo’s boss Phil Carrillo told her he thought she should get her drone pilot license, she thought he was kidding. At the time, she worked on SCS’s Remote Control (RMC) team; selling drone services was a part of her job, but she had not thought of flying these unmanned vehicles herself.

Her thirst for competition kicked in when he turned the proposition into a bet. He was going after his pilot license himself; she bet she’d beat his score. They finished in a dead heat, but what started as friendly rivalry ended up bringing a new dimension to Russo’s job— a job that continues to expand in breadth as new opportunities turn up.

Today she not only flies, sells drone services, and teaches others how to sell and fly, but she’s helped bring geographical information systems (GIS) into RMC’s portfolio. How these technologies fit together is RMC remotely collects data from drones and different landfill systems. Then the GIS translates that data into maps, capturing a visual picture of how clients’ facilities’ systems are performing. The GIS piece is one of the latest chapters in the story of Russo’s evolving role (more to come on that).

 

Piloting is what especially gets her juices going.

Drone monitoring pipelines.

“I love working with my team, supporting them in what they do. But when it comes to drones, I like the hands-on experience of flying myself more than telling other people how to do it.”

She controls these small aircraft from a device on the ground, sharply focused on her surroundings while keeping the drone in her sight at all times.

“You have to make sure there are no manned vehicles around; they have the right of way. And there’s a lot of continuous movement on landfills. You’re constantly aware of your surroundings. Is a truck coming? Am I in line with where dumping is going on?”

 

Flying drones takes muscle and mechanical aptitude.

The drone and case can weigh 45 pounds. And there are a lot of moving parts to assemble and calibrate.

Sometimes it’s manual work, pointing and rotating a remote controller to send a radio signal to tell the drone what to do. But more often, she pilots automated flights that she maps in advance and uploads the flight path specs into software that interfaces with the drone.

“When I’m flying drones, I can access areas where if I had boots on the ground, I couldn’t. I can go and explore just about anywhere, similar to when I dream— only it’s real,” she says.

With any task, she’s laser-focused, concentrating on one part of the picture at a time to grasp the details. She steps back and uses critical thinking, accumulated knowledge, and imagination to take on what’s before her.

 

The innovation process

“We’re pretty lucky with our timing; new and proven technologies are emerging quickly. I’m one of many SCSers with a deep knowledge of technology and practical experience in the solid waste industry. Together, we can make a difference because we understand the business and operational challenges very well. When I need an expert in another industry, I just reach out to a colleague. The learning process never ends, and each project helps me and my team constantly find better answers.

“My boss is more of a big-picture person; his ideas are huge and amazing. He comes to me with new ideas, and I figure out how to make them work and implement them,” Russo says.

She points to his idea to use proven GIS technology within RMC. She was already using GIS to map methane data, process topographic maps, and stockpile calculations. For instance, she integrates methane values into the GIS and overlaps them with imagery so her clients can zoom in on one well or get a large-scale view of the overall health of the gas collection system. But integrating GIS in new ways to incorporate multiple landfill systems would solve some expensive problems and, better yet, prevent even more expensive mitigation and repairs.

 

Expanding GIS applications to illustrate multiple landfill systems

Examining multiple wellfield conditions, then zooming in on specific well metrics makes assigning field staff and technicians more efficient. See liquid levels, and many other conditions well by well, or in “hot” areas for LFG diagnosis.

“I know drones and how to process drone data. But now that we are expanding applications, I add more layers of landfill data, such as liquids, soil, the gas collection and control system (GCCS), SCADA, and surface emissions, to bring them into the RMC GIS platform. My colleagues are demonstrating these technologies at the SCS June Client Webinar.”

“I created a team of hand-picked SCS staff with both GIS and waste management backgrounds (and a whole lot of drive) to make the vision come to life,” she says. “That’s how we innovate, tight teams with access to nationwide expertise.”

Within six months of the project’s genesis, Russo and her team had integrated gas and liquid collection systems, other landfill systems, and asset management into the RMC GIS platform. She and her team now sell these applications nationwide.

 

Russo’s come a long way since joining SCS at age 21

In her mind, she grew up at the company. Before coming on board, she managed a shop in Manhattan Beach, California, while she began thinking about what to do next.

“I learned a lot about business and people. It was a stepping-stone – I discovered how to earn trust, build rapport, and sell. But in time, I decided I wanted a more professional job,” she recalls.

She went to work for a real estate company managing the SCS Engineers Long Beach office, where she would soon take an entry-level Accounts Payable position in SCS Field Services.

In time, she transitioned to the Health and Safety group, assisting in creating training material and managing truck fleets. Soon she was managing assets, among other firsts for her. By this point, she had developed enough software, accounting, and other administrative skills to step up fast.

Part of the job was keeping up with vehicle maintenance, so she often spoke with field staff. Many of them she already knew from her days working in the accounting department.

 

Growing with her SCS colleagues

“When I was in my first administrative roles, I supported many colleagues who were field techs or supervisors; they are project managers now. It feels as though we’ve grown up together, and we know and trust each other. We collaborate well and know that when we bring projects to each other that we will take care of each other,” Russo says.

She especially likes the RMC concept because remote control and automation enable her, her clients, and her team to work smarter, not harder because they leverage the technology to work for them.

“That means we can usually work from anywhere, giving all of us more time for family, friends, or allocating the time saved towards other needed to-dos. I’m up at five a.m. and, at times, may not finish work until nine at night. Somehow, us working women find the balance in between meetings, writing proposals, and answering emails; I have lunch with my two boys or take them to a park,” she says.

Bambi Lance, a veteran SCSer and her mother, works in the same business unit as Melissa does. “Mom’s been here for 16 years, and it’s interesting to have her perspective not only as my mom but as someone who knows SCS. She knows my department, and she knows me. She sees what I am doing and she along with management encourage me to do more and believe in myself.”

Russo reflects again on the concept of stepping-stones on the way to knowledge and maturity. I’m competitive and take on challenges, which has been a driving force in all I do today. It’s helped me take a personal inventory of how I am now versus the young Melissa,” she says.

She uses it to gauge her direction. And she uses it to connect to her staff. “I try to help them see you can turn almost any experience, into a positive. I want my team to see we are all learning and growing. They can, as I can, comfortably bring new ideas to the group and company, which often turn into new ways to help clients.”

She circles back to her decision to fly drones, explaining how it aligns with her career path from her first steps to today. “Becoming a pilot was a natural fit because it’s a new challenge. The craving to take on new tasks is how I grew from an accounting administrator to a project coordinator up to a business manager. It’s wanting to expand my knowledge, tackle new feats, and accomplish what I was not sure I could do. I like the challenge.”

 

More videos and information.

The SCS Culture is Driven by Client Success

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:15 pm

SWANA 2021 Landfill Challenges Summit on June 17

June 3, 2021

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is hosting a virtual summit in place of SOAR this June 17th. The Landfill Challenges Summit presents sessions from 12:00 – 5:00 pm EDT and on-demand sessions throughout the conference.

The Landfill Challenges Summit brings together landfill, landfill gas, and biogas professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Industry experts, including those at SCS Engineers, will discuss current and future challenges that are expected to impact landfill operations and landfill gas production and what lessons can be applied as we move forward.

REGISTER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 8:00 am

SCS MobileTools® Announces App for Wireless Data Transfer from Landfill Flares

April 22, 2021

landfill data
SCS WDT ensures data integrity by collecting flare readings directly into a mobile device and SCSeTools.

 

 

Another landfill operations time and money-saving feature from SCS Engineers, Wireless Data Transfer App SCS WDT™.

 

 

SCS Engineers announces its iOS and Android application SCS WDT™ for wireless data transfer of landfill flare readings to mobile devices. The app expands the power of SCS MobileTools® to observe system and environmental activity securely and in real-time.

Today’s landfill gas flares collect data using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. The flare’s SCADA system records data at preset intervals generating hundreds of thousands of readings to process and analyze. Often data is stored on a data card at the flare site. A technician collects the data by transcribing it into a log or digitally reading it, then transferring the reading to a computer. The data is then uploaded into the landfill’s database for analysis and reporting.

The process, with its multiple steps, is slow and open to human error. SCS WDT™ digitally collects flare readings directly into a mobile device and into SCS DataServices® in seconds, reducing human error and multiple steps. The app’s interface provides secure access to information that drives critical operating decisions and collects historical data for trends, corporate directives, and landfill gas OM&M programs.

Landfill managers and environmental engineers can monitor their flares in real-time, seeing exceedances immediately. SCS WDT™ uses GPS to capture the exact physical location of flares and place the data into the appropriate landfill’s site location too. Flare readings are available, literally in seconds, for review, analysis, and corrective action if needed. Pilot testing at 30 landfills nationwide demonstrates that SCS WDT™ saves time and errors by removing extra steps and people in the progression; there is no need to wait until the end of a technician’s shift to transfer readings or have extra hands in the process.

SCS DataServices®, a secure web-based landfill gas management application, is part of the SCSeTools® platform in use on hundreds of landfills backed by over 50 years of landfill design, operation, and maintenance experience. SCS Engineers understands how unique landfill operations are today, so SCS WDT™ works as a standalone app with other platforms and is free to SCSeTools® users. Download on the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, Google Play for Android.

 

The SCSeTools® platform and applications help facilities operate more efficiently by continually gauging operational health and spot trends that help determine when and how to invest in infrastructure. For additional information and demonstrations of these productivity-enhancing tools, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Four Amazing YPs Take Us On A Landfill Technology Journey

March 26, 2021

 

David Hostetter, Sam Rice, Joy Stephens, and Chris Woloszyn take us on a landfill technology journey in their recent EM Magazine article. It is amazing what these YPs are developing and implementing nationwide. The future looks bright!

 

Most equipment data and system data are collected manually for regulatory compliance; this process is time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes dangerous. Consequently, some sites only collect a few data points per day, which may not provide a complete picture of landfill operations. They also contend with the control and maintenance of remote equipment. These YPs explain how they’ve solved these challenges using RMC and SCADA systems.

Field technicians—heavily laden with instruments, printed data collection sheets, logbooks, clipboards, maps, and other gear—spend long days collecting immense amounts of data. Additional labor awaits supervisors and managers as they transcribe, digitize, or otherwise prepare the data for analysis. This team deciphers the information recorded on sheets and logbooks, often accompanied by leachate stains, mud spatters, and water damage. GIS provides a low-cost way to streamline data collection, track progress, visualize task completion, and analyze collected data to deliver an overview of the landfill’s status.

Beyond cameras, various sensors can be attached to a drone. These sensors range from infrared cameras to LiDAR sensors to gas identification tools. One such tool helps identify the presence of methane leaking out of a landfill. A drone pilot can maneuver over the entire landfill, sniffing out methane leaks and seeking out poor landfill-cover integrity, all in a matter of hours. Drones collect methane data quickly and accurately without the need for traversing the ground on foot or by vehicle.

Integration of additional automatic and manual data collection methods, such as quarterly or annual drone flights, RMC systems, and remotely monitored and controlled wellheads, provide a comprehensive view of landfill performance and overall condition. UAVs or drones allow for safe inspections, quick data gathering, and lower operating costs.

Read EM Magazine’s full article with images here.

 

 

SCS is also providing a non-commercial webinar on drone technologies providing the best return on investment in March 2021. Join us for this live, interactive session, or view the recording in our Learning Center after March 24, 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Troubleshooting Landfill Gas Migration Faster

March 3, 2021

landfill gas migration
SCS keeps his eye on a landfill’s range map for under extraction and system pressure maps for undersized headers and laterals.

 

When Doug Doerr got a call from a Colorado-based landfill operator with a hot gas probe at his site’s boundary, Doerr’s day kicked into high gear. Chasing down gas migration problems is nothing new in an SCS client manager’s life, but that reality makes the job no less complex. And in this scenario, he was dealing with a site that he occasionally got called to visit, so to understand the problem fast, he needed the site’s historical data and the current information to fully picture what was happening.

Doerr started with basic landfill gas information from the client: the monitoring probe’s location and a drawing of the gas collection system to determine where the probe was in relation to the gas system. But as you know, that is one small slice of a king-sized pie.

“All the LFG data that I would typically wade through to identify the problem can be overwhelming, but I had a recourse enabling me to get up to speed quickly. It didn’t take long to assess the problem,” he says.  That recourse is a combination of quick teamwork from his peers nationwide and sophisticated technology developed by SCS practitioners for landfill owners and operators.

“I queried our in-house landfill gas technical group (engineers, geotechnical experts, and field personnel). And got over 25 responses within several hours with suggestions, one of which came from Ken Brynda in SCS Field Services, who leveraged DataServices to help me identify and narrow down the potential cause of the problem,” recalls Doerr.

DataServices, a module of the SCS eTools® digital platform, collects, stores, manages and analyzes large volumes of continuously accumulating landfill gas data for individual sites or multiple landfills. The module provides a quick method to view landfill gas scenarios.

The beauty of it is that it generates maps and charts to visualize every well and every probe. These system components are viewed in relation to one another and in relation to the perimeter, where the methane on that Colorado site flowed. Further, SCS Field Services’ landfill gas gurus, such as Ken Brynda, plug-in specific parameters that keep a close watch on any well or a group of wells.

“I logged into DataServices and pulled data from the five wells closest to the hot probe, which showed we had vacuum, flow, and gas quality, indicating the wells were pulling hard enough. I shared the results with our landfill gas technical group responders in a table and range map I’d created. And they started chiming in,” Brynda recalls.

As responders viewed initial results from their respective bases around the country, Brynda churned out more information in a few hours, running point charts to capture the balance gas, methane, flow, temperature, supply vacuum, and the vacuum applied to each well. He looked for trends that narrow down cause and point to solutions.

 

Eliminating the Possibilities – Rule Out Well System Malfunctions

“It can take days if we’d had to do it the old school way with spreadsheets laid out in a lot of rows. But we could identify the potential problem in a matter of hours, backed by a comprehensive evaluation for the landfill operator in eight hours,” Doerr says.

When Field Services staff work to solve a problem with a probe, they look for an outlier, something from a group of wells that’s not behaving like the other wells. In this case, Brynda determined that the wells near the hot probe were functioning properly. DataServices eliminated potential problems by slicing through and analyzing large chunks of data confirming the system was working efficiently.

Next, we observed that the wells are likely too far away to pull gas back from waste, adjacent to the probe in question, where there are no wells.

“DataServices helped rule out malfunctions, and that’s a big deal because if you can confirm the landfill system is working properly, you have narrowed your focus and can look toward other possibilities, ultimately leading to corrective options,” Doerr says. Brynda and Doerr suggested putting in temporary wells in that area to avoid odor migration and health and safety issues.

Doerr continues watching the situation and is prepared with a several-point action plan to mitigate exceedances and avoid falling out of compliance. “We continue watching the data to ensure the gas collection system continues to function well. Should there be issues again, we’re able to fully identify the gas migration pathways and anything in the system that looks out of the ordinary,” Doerr says.

If the client decides to add wells in time, data from the expanded infrastructure will be added to the app and monitored. “As the number of wells grows, DataServices grows with it, adding any, and as much, monitoring and collection data as the operator wants. DataServices will always be in the background to monitor, collect and analyze LFG data in real-time, whenever we need it,” he says. Being able to store, organize, dissect and analyze unlimited volumes of information from one location is powerful. And not just because it helps operators identify problems as they are happening, but because it and our teams can support them in looking for trends over time. Keeping an eye on the activities that keep the systems in balance is less costly.

For Doerr, who spends time in the field but longer hours with his clients, DataServices and the ability to interact quickly with experts like Brynda help SCS deliver more value to clients. “As much as I’d love to master DataServices, I need to focus all of my time on my clients’ business and goals; having support from Field Services and DataServices makes us all more efficient.”

 

Landfill Technologies and Comprehensive Expertise

SCS eTools® and SCS DataServices®, now with SCS MobileTools® for viewing data and charts anywhere; available to pull landfill data into DataServices for analyzing. You can customize and focus on exactly what you need fast. As Doug and Ken emphasize, it’s info that you likely already have, but may not be able to use quickly for troubleshooting.

SCS RMC®, remote monitoring and control of landfill equipment and systems.

Comprehensive Landfill Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am