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.
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.
In an increasingly complex regulatory world, Remote Monitoring and Control (RMC) systems provide the tools necessary to improve safety, increase efficiency and make the right decisions quickly. Beyond capturing and storing data, these systems can sort through mountains of data, identify what’s important and deliver meaningful information to operators in real time or as needed.
Some of the added benefits of using RMC systems include:
See you in Nashville! SCS Engineers
The Washington D.C. Post of the Society of Military Engineers (SAME) Board of Directors selected David Hostetter for his Outstanding Contributions by a Young Civilian Member.
Hostetter says he focuses on three things in his work: using his engineering skills to make a difference in the world, serving his clients wholeheartedly, and mentoring other young professionals as he was mentored.
Hostetter mentors other young professionals by involving them in hands-on engineering projects which helps them to discover how design impacts installation and operations. They have the opportunity to ask questions and to work with senior level engineers and experienced field staff. Dave learned valuable lessons this way, and he is passing those lessons and best practices on to others.
Hostetter is now the Eastern Regional Manager of SCS RMC®, which stands for remote monitoring and control technology. Several industries use this proven technology for the simultaneous viewing, analysis, alerting, and control of equipment and systems critical to production and safe operations.
Well done, Dave!
Oil and gas processing facilities, federal and local governments, landfills, land developers, contractors, industries with industrial hygiene plans can spend too much money for too little information if they don’t have an understanding of the limits and capabilities of their equipment and methods before the development of their Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) . That’s before considering the risk to their employees and to public health.
Even if you can’t afford a dedicated air monitoring group, you can eliminate the health risks, overwriting a plan, or overburdening your budget. A cost-benefit analysis and integrating stakeholders’ goals can help provide the guidance you need to develop a balanced air monitoring plan.
Start with this list of considerations when developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP). The list is followed by tips and suggestions which are helpful under specific circumstances.
Location of the monitoring site is initially dependent on the monitoring objective. For example, once it is known that there is a requirement to monitor for peak ambient H2S at a microscale site, it reduces the monitoring site location to specific areas. Hence, the first task when evaluating a possible site location is to determine the scale for which a candidate location can qualify by considering the following:
1. Location and emissions strengths of nearby sources, especially major source;
2. Prevailing wind direction in the area;
3. Nearby uniformity of land use;
4. Nearby population density.
To select locations according to these criteria, it is necessary to have detailed information on the location of emission sources, the geographical variability of ambient pollutant concentrations, meteorological conditions, and population density. Therefore, selection of the number, locations, and types of sampling stations is a complex process. The variability of sources and their intensities of emissions, terrains, meteorological conditions and demographic features require that each network is developed individually. Thus, selection of the network will be based on the best available evidence and on the experience of the decision team.
Developing an Air Monitoring Plan (AMP) can be a daunting task. There are many decisions to make that have downwind ramifications relative to budget, logistical constraints, and labor requirements. In addition, there may be competing goals in regards to the project stakeholders. SCS has the experience developing and implementing air monitoring plans and systems to meet these challenges; including developing site specific and network-wide AMPs for various monitoring objectives. SCS also understands the costs and demands of the implementation of AMPs on industry and government.
If you need to perform Air Monitoring or are in the initial steps of developing an AMP please contact for expert advice and guidance specific to your region and industry. We have robust programs and experts nationwide. We can also incorporate the use of remote monitoring controls and monitoring by our FCC authorized drones.
Author: Paul Schafer, SCS’ National Expert Ambient Air Monitoring
Over years of working on operations and maintenance of landfill gas collection and control systems and leachate management systems, SCS found that too many times data is collected and no one has the time to review and analyze it for improved decision-making.
As an industry-wide issue, SCS developed systems to streamline the process using technology and our field expertise to help perform routine and sometimes complex data analysis and to automatically push reports and alerts to operators, engineers, and project managers.
The improvements are dramatic; by removing human error from reviewing pages of data we now focus our time and energy on what really matters, using what the data tells us to make informed decisions. Let’s put the technology into the context of everyday operations – identify, troubleshoot, and solve landfill gas and leachate challenges.
This SCS paper illustrates several sites using integrated systems for data collection and analysis and how they are used to identify, troubleshoot, and solve real problems in an effective and efficient manner.
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About the Authors:
David P. Hostetter, PE, Denver, Pennsylvania
Phil Carrillo, Huntington Beach, California
Darrin D. Dillah, Ph.D., PE, BCEE, Reston, Virginia