SCS Field Services

Maintaining Gas Extraction System Pumps Saves Time and Money | SCS Field Services

September 7, 2021

SCSeTools LFG data to create operational efficiencies for landfill operators
Even a robust vacuum on the wells will not pull gas once pipes fill with fluid.  With no path to move it from trash into the collection infrastructure, operators work harder to stave off odor and slope stability issues, among potential resulting problems.

 

Accumulating liquids are problematic for landfills taking sludges and other wet wastes not traditionally part of the incoming waste stream. Add to the mix increasing precipitation, and operators could be staring down the perfect storm—especially as they work to optimize their gas extraction systems. Here’s the challenge, explains Pete Carrico, SCS Engineers Senior Vice President and national expert on liquids management:

“Trash is porous, and the soils used for daily and intermediate cover usually aren’t, so liquid gets trapped between alternating trash layers as the landfill fills. These “perched” liquids can drain into well columns and block the slotted portion of the extraction well piping that withdraws gas from waste and into the gas collection system.”

Even a robust vacuum on the wells will not pull gas once pipes fill with fluid.  With no path to move it from trash into the collection infrastructure, operators work harder to stave off odor and slope stability issues, among potential resulting problems.

The good news is they have a recourse to remove the liquids, unblock well perforations, and extract more gas. They do it by installing dewatering systems: an intricate network of pneumatic pumps, air lines to power them, and conveyance lines, also known as force mains, to remove liquid.

Manufacturers have designed and redesigned their pumps to try and address problems specific to landfill gas extraction systems. And the equipment does the job but requires meticulous attention and skill to keep all the moving parts going. These liquids are rough on pumps due to their harsh nature. The suspended solids and biological material they contain are the biggest challenges, and if the landfill has high temperatures, these liquids can heat up, further taxing the system, Carrico says.

“No pump indefinitely survives the challenging conditions you have in landfills. So, where we can make the biggest difference is with these maintenance programs,” Carrico says. You’re spending O&M budget on what provides the most impact.”

SCS uses dedicated, factory-trained pump crews who focus solely on operating and maintaining gas extraction dewatering systems. These crews help ensure the infrastructure functions as it should, and gas moves through well piping slots, into the gas header piping, and to the blower/flare station for beneficial end-use.

“Operations run more smoothly with these crews in place. An SCS field crew is as unique as each landfill. Our specialists have various skill sets, i.e., gas collection system monitoring, surface emissions monitoring, or pump maintenance expertise. That’s how we produce better outcomes in terms of pump performance. If you effectively maintain and repair the pumps, you will restore them to their designed specifications, pump more liquids, and with greater ease,” Carrico says.

The teams, who work on landfills across the country, stay busy. One site can have five to 300-plus pumps, each with multiple components, and they must be removed and cleaned frequently.

Replacing worn, fouled, or damaged components is an especially tedious and complex job.

Some wells are 70 to 100 feet deep. Pulling air lines, liquid lines, and pumps out from that depth is hard and requires special equipment to do safely.  SCS crews know how to take them apart and put them back together; they don’t just lower them back in the ground after working on them. But hook them up to air and water lines and watch them work at capacity before returning them to service.

It’s a value add; with a good maintenance plan and the right crew, pumps can be kept at their designed specifications and run efficiently for many years.  They can typically be cleaned and reset for a fraction of their replacement cost.

“We leverage our size and resources. We have a deep bench of in-house experts and engineers willing to share information to help with problems, which is important as conditions vary at each site, as can problems and solutions. So, it’s important not to do this in a silo but rather pull from our broader knowledge base,” Carrico says.

Technology helps too, especially with tracking, maintaining, and reporting progress to clients. A geographical information system (GIS) maps each well’s location, and pump technicians upload data corresponding to each one from wireless tablets almost instantaneously.

 

Wellfield liquid levels and detail at a glance. Using a landfill’s collected data, narrow down the entire well field’s pumps to determine what needs investigation and where it is using GIS. Supervisors can check the overall monitoring status, select a well pump not performing to see the details, then assign technicians exactly where most needed.

 

The ability to automate tracking and display critical information right away on a dashboard has increased our program’s efficiency. Technicians spend less time tracking and look at analyses of all the landfill conditions to know where to concentrate their efforts, Carrico says.

A few landfills are working to avoid pumping liquids altogether. They are building large gabion rock structures at the landfill’s base, with piping that connects to the extraction well system, creating a conduit. Liquids automatically drain to the bottom where leachate is intended to go while effectively pulling more gas into the gas collection system.

“This is a newer trend that some of our clients are already doing. And we are involved supporting the well designs,” Carrico says.

For now, in most cases, achieving the best outcomes is about investing in pumps and a good maintenance program.

“Monitoring and regularly measuring—checking stroke-counters, which show how many times a pump cycles, and checking flow meters to know how many gallons a day a system produces are key to finding savings. It’s how you reduce or prevent catastrophic failures,” says Greg Hansen, Senior Project Manager with SCS Field Services Operations, Maintenance & Monitoring.

To execute properly, Hansen provides this advice for operators setting up a pump program:

Have pump maintenance areas with water, electricity, disposal means for waste liquids, and storage facilities for spare parts and tools. More specifically:

  • Set up ample storage for spare parts inventory to avoid downtime. There may be 100 parts to a pump, and to replace them quickly, keep a parts inventory equal to about 10% of in-use pumps.
  • Know before you order parts which ones are compatible with your system as they are not all interchangeable. SCS can help with this.
  • Place the operation near leachate tanks so technicians can efficiently dispose of wastewater. Have cleaning materials analyzed to ensure they are acceptable according to the disposal permit.

Operators planning on doing maintenance in-house should train their technicians on cleaning, servicing, and testing pumps. Either SCS or the pump manufacturer can provide this training.

Above all, Hansen says, “You need a comprehensive OM&M program. The better the job tuning pumps, the better they do in the field, and the longer they work before being cleaned or repaired. It’s a continual process.”

 

More Resources

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Hiring friendly, team oriented, people | SCS Engineers

September 3, 2021

If you thrive in a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused company, SCS Engineers is the place for you. We’re looking for field technicians to work collaboratively on our Field Services teams nationwide. Use our job search to find your desired location. Specific information is posted for each open position.

Under general supervision, our technicians operate, monitor, and maintain gas migration control and recovery systems, including gas well monitoring and adjustment, troubleshooting, and system repairs. Be part of a team working for the good of our clients, communities, and the environment.

 

Open Positions at SCS Engineers

 

Become one of the engineers, consultants, scientists, and technicians that help private and public entities run cleaner and more efficiently, build stronger communities, and develop renewable energy solutions. A very rewarding place to have a career!

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Engineers is hiring! Find your rewarding career path here.

July 23, 2021

 

If you thrive in a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused company, SCS Engineers is the place for you. We’re looking for field technicians to work collaboratively on our Field Services teams nationwide. Specific information is posted for each open position. Use our job search to find your desired location. Under general supervision, our technicians operate, monitor, and maintain gas migration control and recovery systems, including gas well monitoring and adjustment, troubleshooting, and system repairs.

Si prospera en una empresa amigable, colaborativa y centrada en el cliente, SCS Engineers es el lugar para usted. Buscamos técnicos de campo para trabajar en colaboración en nuestros equipos de servicios de campo en todo el país. Se publica información específica para cada puesto vacante. Utilice nuestra búsqueda de empleo para encontrar la ubicación deseada. Bajo supervisión general, nuestros técnicos operan, monitorean y mantienen los sistemas de control y recuperación de migración de gas, incluido el monitoreo y ajuste de pozos de gas, resolución de problemas y reparaciones del sistema.

 

Open Positions at SCS Engineers

 

Become one of the engineers, consultants, scientists, and technicians that help private and public entities run cleaner and more efficiently. A very rewarding place to have a career!

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Thrive at SCS, a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused environmental firm

July 2, 2021

Environmental Engineers at SCS Engineers

If you thrive in a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused company, SCS Engineers is the place for you. We’re looking for field technicians to work collaboratively on our Field Services teams nationwide. Use our job search to find your desired location. Specific information is posted for each open position.

Under general supervision, our technicians operate, monitor, and maintain gas migration control and recovery systems, including gas well monitoring and adjustment, troubleshooting, and system repairs. Be part of a team working for the good of our clients, communities, and the environment.

 

Open Positions at SCS Engineers

 

Become one of the engineers, consultants, scientists, and technicians that help private and public entities run cleaner and more efficiently, build stronger communities, and develop renewable energy solutions. A very rewarding place to have a career!

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Find a rewarding career at SCS Engineers today!

June 25, 2021

 

If you thrive in a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused company, SCS Engineers is the place for you. We’re looking for field technicians to work collaboratively on our Field Services teams nationwide. Specific information is posted for each open position. Use our job search to find your desired location.

Under general supervision, our technicians operate, monitor, and maintain gas migration control and recovery systems, including gas well monitoring and adjustment, troubleshooting, and system repairs.

 

Open Positions at SCS Engineers

 

Become one of the engineers, consultants, scientists, and technicians that help private and public entities run cleaner and more efficiently. A very rewarding place to have a career!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCS Engineers is hiring! Find your rewarding career path here.

June 11, 2021

If you thrive in a friendly, collaborative, and client-focused company, SCS Engineers is the place for you. We’re looking for field technicians to work collaboratively on our Field Services teams nationwide. Specific information is posted for each open position. Use our job search to find your desired location.

Under general supervision, our technicians operate, monitor, and maintain gas migration control and recovery systems, including gas well monitoring and adjustment, troubleshooting, and system repairs.

 

Open Positions at SCS Engineers

 

Become one of the engineers, consultants, scientists, and technicians that help private and public entities run cleaner and more efficiently. A very rewarding place to have a career!

 

 

 

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

Launching Now, SCS MobileTools® App for Smarter Landfill Operations

December 15, 2020

Landfill Operations App

SCS Engineers’ newest environmental technology application is for use at solid waste facilities and landfills. These sites require specific monitoring and analyses of groundwater and liquids, landfill gas – LFG, and surface emissions critical to facility infrastructure and the environment.

Pete Carrico - SCS Field Services“We work side-by-side with our clients at hundreds of facilities nationwide. SCS MobileTools® supports operating decisions, whether our client is managing one site or hundreds,” states Pete Carrico, senior vice president and assistant director of SCS Field Services.” The App’s interface gives clients quick access to information that drives critical operating decisions and provides data for corporate directives and landfill gas OM&M programs for regional or national operations.

SCS MobileTools® is the iOS and Android mobile interface for the SCSeTools® platform. Access to data to make informed decisions is especially valuable when technicians are in the field, or operators are working remotely. Landfill and solid waste facility owners, operators, and technicians use the new application to observe system and environmental activity securely and in real-time on a mobile phone or device.

SCSETools

Featuring state-of-the-art technology, SCS MobileTools® provides users the ability to interact with a site or facility data, including site-specific monitoring and exceedance metrics for landfill gas, liquid levels, and surface emissions. Responsive, touch-enabled flow data charting is accessible, illustrating flow targets, reading dates, flow rates, and historical flow data analysis.

Generation and Disposal Trends

When compared year-over-year, generation and disposal trends produce information critical to assessing optimal options and solutions that represent significant savings for landfill gas Operations, Maintenance & Monitoring – OM&M programs. For this reason, the savings compound for regional or national operators.

For instance, monitoring and analyzing landfill gas generation and collection data against modeled estimates are valuable information. SCS MobileTools® handles the input, analysis, review, and export of landfill gas flow and related information, specifically flow rates, impacts on gas collection (e.g., extraction well liquid levels), and analytical data for data collection points.

Downloads and Demonstrations

In SCS’s release pipeline, SCS MobileTools® will include mapping and visualization functions in early 2021. SCS MobileTools® is available for download on the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads, Google Play for Android.

 

For additional information and demonstrations of productivity-enhancing technology, contact .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Thank You For Your Service and Dedication

November 8, 2019

 

Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our Veterans here at SCS and across our nation. 

Army National Guard Platoon Leader Wesley Pate deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait.

On Veterans Day 2019, we decided to interview one of our very own Veterans at SCS! Wesley Pate joined SCS Engineers in August 2018, as a Senior Technician in our Field Services OM&M Business Unit. Wesley graduated from Auburn University where he studied Agriculture and Soils, which is what sparked his interested in getting into environmental services. He joined the Army National Guard in 2013, as a Platoon Leader where he was deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait. As a Platoon Leader, he was responsible for the rating and professional development of 38 soldiers.  He returned home safely in July 2018, and started his search for a career in Environmental services and found his home at SCS Engineers! As a Senior Technician, he supports our Landfill Gas Collection Systems by conducting monthly well field monitoring on 5 of our landfills in Alabama where he performs maintenance and repairs on the blower and skid as well as troubleshooting the systems.

What is it that attracted you to SCS?

The position was close to what I did before I was deployed. Just the comfort of coming in and already knowing people working here was great. I was familiar with SCS from my prior experience with my previous employer, and it just seemed like a better environment. I liked the way things run at SCS – they did things the way I wanted to do them. Before, if I had a problem, I would have to call someone else to fix it instead of doing it myself. Now I have the freedom to do the monitoring, the troubleshooting, and the repairs all myself as needed. And if I need help, they have the resources to assist. I appreciate the structure in landfill gas with SCS because it’s very professional. And I like that!

What is your favorite part of working at SCS?

The flexibility! Every day it seems like I’m learning something new! When I work with guys from another region, I always learn something from them. I’m constantly learning something new! It never gets boring. There’s always something new coming up, always a new challenge. It tests my brain to figure things out. It’s very rewarding once you do fix something, and it works out. It’s a feeling like “Hey! This actually works, and we found the issue to fix it.” If the clients are happy, then I’m happy with myself.

What would you say is your biggest contribution to SCS?

Wesley, a Senior Technician at SCS out in the field with his team.

That’s a tough one! I guess anytime I feel I’m helping the team. If someone needs help, and I’m able to assist them, and I’m contributing to the team rather than being a burden or a headache. If my project manager needs something and I’m able to help him out and take a load off of him, that makes me feel better about my place on the team. If the boss is happy, then everyone’s happy!

Why do you think you’ve been so successful at SCS?

I’ve been set up for success! We have good management and work with great clients. I like that SCS is more of a team environment, and everyone makes an effort, rather than any one company or contractor carrying the weight of the work. Everyone approaches it as a team, and we brainstorm and determine the best way to come up with the solution. 

What advice would you give a prospective employee at SCS?

For someone coming into OM&M, stay open-minded, as in, don’t be set in your ways. Be willing to work hard and keep your head down and push through it. The work will get easier as you go on. You will learn every day, and the more you learn, the easier it gets! You will get to spend time with the more experienced SCS employees and learn from them that tasks you thought were challenging, don’t have to be. You will observe an employee who has to do the same thing 100 times, and they will teach you the easiest way to do it! 

What do you like to do outside of SCS? Any favorite hobbies?

I love to go bow hunting for whitetail deer in Alabama. I also love doing anything on the water! I have a Bloodhound dog named Reggie, and I love spending time with him.

 

Thank you for your service!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:23 pm

SCS Engineers’ Tom Lock Elected as SWANA Keystone Officer

September 25, 2018

 

Tom Lock of SCS Engineers recently elected as a SWANA Keystone Chapter Officer.

The SWANA Keystone Chapter has elected Tom Lock of SCS Engineers as Secretary of the Chapter. Tom assumed his new position following the Board of Director’s meeting on September 6, 2018.

Tom continues to provide leadership and representation for the waste management industry and in the use of renewable energy resources such as landfill gas and solar in the region. In his new position, he is responsible for keeping full minutes of all proceedings of the Chapter, its members, directors, and committees, and maintaining Chapter records. Tom will issue notices required by law and SWANA bylaws, prepare and submit required annual, periodic or special reports, and shall perform other duties as requested by the Board of Directors. He is a SWANA member of over 25 years and regularly participates in regional and national conferences.

Tom, a Project Manager for SCS Engineers, has three decades of experience in environmental field services and project management, with an emphasis on waste industry operations and maintenance. He manages the SCS Engineers Harrisburg office and coordinates with the firm’s offices and operations nationwide. Lock’s expertise is in Operations, Maintenance, and Monitoring (OM&M) of environmental control systems. His work involves OM&M of renewable energy resources such as landfill gas using a sophisticated collection, monitoring, and reporting system SCSeTools®.

Our congratulations to Tom and the other newly elected officers.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am