A typical day at Enitial

A typical day starts early. Avoiding the morning traffic is essential so as to arrive on site on time. Being based from home means that an amount of travel is always necessary On arrival at site it is necessary to spend 10-15 minutes reporting into site staff for a safety briefing and being made aware of site issues that affect the scheduled day’s work.

An environmental monitoring technician’s role requires preparation, organisation and importantly time management. Getting your equipment organised can save time throughout the day. There is a lot of equipment used to carrying out environmental monitoring, from landfill gas instruments to sample bottles. Also dressing in the appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment is essential, in the summer you’ll need sun cream and in the winter waterproofs and a woolly.

Monitoring generally begins with a perimeter sweep of the gas boreholes, recording the concentrations of gas in each point as you walk around. Each point takes several minutes to monitor. Once the gas monitoring is finished you move onto the leachate monitoring. This involves recording the levels of liquid within the well and taking samples of leachate by filling the sample bottles. Leachate can be hazardous so wearing gloves and eye protection is essential.

Groundwater monitoring, like leachate, involves recording the liquid level in the boreholes, but unlike leachate sampling groundwater isn’t generally pumped by on site equipment. To purge and pump the groundwater we carry a small pump to the borehole in order to ensure representative water sample is obtained.

Finally, surface water sampling involves taking samples from a stream or pond or watercourse. From this sample a test for pH, electrical conductivity and temperature of the sample is often carried out. After signing out from the site offices, reporting results and any problems, you then leave the site for the journey back.

At the office, the data you have gathered is then exported into an excel spreadsheet; this can take anything from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. A degree of computer literacy is essential as incorrect entry of data can lead to problems. This role is great if you enjoy being outdoors in all weather, lots of walking and fresh air, and you occasionally will be rewarded by spotting the fabulous birds and wildlife.

Click here to find out more about our monitoring services

enitial Launches Partnership with AmbiSense

We are pleased to announce our partnership with Irish company, AmbiSense to supply their gas monitoring system to the UK market. The new addition to enitial’s environmental monitoring services expands our offering of field measurements services for gas or water pollution.

AmbiSense’s solar powered, continuous gas monitoring system is suitable for permanent deployment at any location and is designed to analyse gas and air quality levels across a range of customer applications and markets including:

slider_img123-Landfill & biogas
-Contaminated land
-Anaerobic Digestion
-Shale gas, oil and coal seam methane mining
-Indoor & outdoor air quality

The AmbiSense gas monitoring system requires no operator involvement and provides real-time accurate data, integrated with Google Maps and is accessible on any device. AmbiSense’s software interface means users can login anywhere and is mobile, tablet and PC ready.

Users can build large, useful datasets quickly and cost-effectively.

This remote sensing technology reduces environmental monitoring costs as well as the risks of environmental pollution with the option to set alert and action trigger levels. AmbiSense will help you to maximise gas yield and improve the profitability of your existing gas utilisation plant thanks to the improved understanding of gas potential that AmbiSense’s reports provide.

If you would like any more information about AmbiSense remote sensing technology including hire an quotes, please contact Leo Phillips at enitial: l.phillips@enitial.co.uk

enitial achieves new sampling accreditation

UKAS auditors have awarded environmental monitoring specialist enitial, Drinking Water Testing Specification (DWTS) accreditation.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) awarded the drinking water sampling certification to the company following a rigorous audit of the company’s on site and management procedures. The UKAS accreditation confirms that enitial is competent to perform drinking water sampling in a reliable, credible and accurate manner.

In practical terms, this means the company can undertake sampling of drinking water for chemical and microbiological testing in accordance with the requirements of the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Ivor Parry, business development director at enitial, said: “We identified the opportunity to expand our water monitoring services and UKAS accreditation was the correct step in helping us to meet our clients’ drinking water sampling needs.

“Here at enitial we always look to refresh and expand our offering to clients.

“This certification is part of our commitment to expanding the water monitoring arm of our business. Being able to offer sampling in accordance with Drinking Water Inspectorate requirements means that we can supply water companies with an extended range of monitoring services.

“Congratulations to all of our team for their hard work in achieving this certification.”

enitial’s environmental monitoring team also holds ISO 17025 and MCERTS accreditation for sampling and can offer support to utility companies for Operator Self Monitoring (OSM), Urban Waste Water (UWW) and Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP2) sampling programmes.

Sampling the CIP way

 

The Chemical Investigation Programme 2 (CIP2) is the second phase of a nationwide collaborative project between the Water Industries of the UK and the regulators, to investigate the occurrence, source and removal of trace substances in wastewater treatment works (WwTWs) effluents.
Severn Trent Water CIP2 is the largest of all the water companies’ sampling programmes and will involve the collection of almost 11,000 samples from 130 WwTW’s, and associated catchment and river sampling locations. enitial has been contracted to undertake the project management of all of the sampling and analysis throughout the course of the five year sampling period from April 2015 to March 2020. enitial has worked with Severn Trent to develop fit-for-purpose operational procedures and bespoke software to meet the challenges set by this project.

Techknow:

Depending on the sample type, CIP2 requires the sampling and analysis of up to 75 substances in each of the samples. CIP2 has been divided into three main study areas:
• Investigations into the occurrence of a wide range of substances at 128 WwTWs final effluent discharges, to confirm any possible risks or failures to compliance, and overall contributions of the discharge into the environment. Monitoring will take place over an 18 month monitoring period at the final effluent discharge points, and associated upstream and downstream river locations; a total of nearly 10,000 samples.
• Feasibility studies into the removal of substances from both full scale and pilot plant trials of promising and innovative technology, incorporating specific investigations into phosphorous removal. This will involve the collection of 150 samples over a year-long study period.
• A further 400 samples are to be collected as part of a Catchment Study programme looking at the occurrence and source of the chemicals on a catchment wide scale.
The nature and complexity of the programme has required bespoke operating procedures and logistics to be put in place and managed by enitial.
• The CIP2 field technicians are trained on the strict sampling procedures to avoid sample contamination, such as the avoidance of fragrances and perfumes.
• Sample integrity is maintained throughout the sampling and analysis process through the logistics employed by enitial. Samples are constantly refrigerated from collection, through storage at their Wolverhampton HQ, until the i2 Analytical and National Laboratory Service (NLS) receive the samples by 6am the following morning.
• The range of testing involved in CIP2 requires a wide variety of extraction and analysis techniques such as liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
• Enicip is a dynamic piece of bespoke software which was developed by enitial over a period of six months, specifically for CIP2. The database stores, records and analyses all of the information pertaining to each and every sample including; GPS, photographs, sampling and analysis requirements, H&S, chain of custody, results and KPI reporting.

Moans & Groans:

• The first phase of the CIP programme which took place in 2010-2013 made it possible to identify substances which required further attention or investigation. The determinands in CIP2, although similar to those in CIP1, are more challenging in terms of their required reporting limits and cover a broader range of substances.
• The required reporting limits of CIP2 demanded that new analytical techniques were developed.

The Verdict

Using Enicip software, Severn Trent Water can monitor and audit the Chain of Custody from sample collection to results reporting. The functionality of the database also allows for quick and easy data analysis in a user friendly format. All project partners are able to access the database through the web portal, allowing an efficient and transparent data management process which allows a project of this size to be carried out effectively.

Background and programme requirements

In 2010 the UK Water Industry Research organisation (UKWIR) and Environment Agency set up the Chemical Investigations Programme (CIP1) in order to uphold European regulations – namely the Water Framework Directive and the new Priority Substances Directive, which regulates environmental quality standards. As part of CIP1, water companies in England and Scotland were required to monitor their waste water treatment facilities for chemicals with the aim of identifying the effect of waste water treatment processes on the management of the 33 chemicals deemed to be potentially harmful to the environment according to the European Priority Substances Directive.
Throughout the course of CIP1, environmental monitoring specialist enitial was contracted by Severn Trent Water to monitor 37 of the water company’s sewage treatment works for the presence of the chemicals over a period of 18 months with 3,000 samples taken and analysed. enitial’s sampling work in CIP1, and their involvement in developing the CIP2 scope of works and technical specifications, meant they were well placed to deliver the Severn Trent CIP2 project.
On a much larger scale than CIP1, CIP2 will identify the occurrence, sources and removal of the substances, and delineate the scale of any improvements in effluent quality required in order to meet the objectives under the forthcoming stages of the Water Framework Directive. Running from April 2015 until March 2020, CIP2 will see enitial collect almost 11,000 samples from 130 Severn Trent Water sites. The findings from CIP1, and revisions to the Priority Substances Directive, determined that the detection limits should be set much lower in CIP2 and the list of compounds to be monitored has also been expanded meaning that sampling and monitoring has become more complex.

In the field

Working on numerous Severn Trent Water WwTW and catchment wide sites requires thorough Health and Safety (H&S) operating procedures. To enable the effective management of these requirements, enitial has provided the following:
• ISO 17025 accreditation (competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations and sampling)
• Health and Safety certification and procedures, which have included all site specific H&S assessments at all WwTWs and other sampling locations, adhering to both enitial and Severn Trent Water requirements
• Lone worker systems whereby the field technicians have been issued their own access fobs to each of the WwTWs, enabling time efficient sample collection.
• Enicip software specifically developed to aid sample management from sample collection through to analysis of results. All H&S assessments are stored on Encip, allowing the transferability of the information between field technicians.
Due to the low limits of detection and high risks of sample contamination in the field, enitial has adhered to the stringent requirements of sampling protocol which are presented in the technical specifications of the programme. Examples of some of the sampling protocol in the field are as follows:
• Different sampling equipment must be used depending on whether the sample is to be tested for organic or inorganic substances. Metal equipment cannot be used for those samples undergoing inorganic analysis (which includes metals).
• Field technicians cannot wear aftershave or perfume to ensure there is no risk of contamination from fragrances.
During sample collection, the technicians use hand held tablets in the field which operate using Enicip, enitial’s bespoke database. Each sample has a barcode which is scanned and together with photographs of the sample and the site, is uploaded to the Enicip database along with the GPS coordinates. Once the labs have analysed the samples, they send back the results which enitial then uploads to Enicip. This allows for a well monitored and auditable Chain of Custody from sample collection to results reporting. As Enicip is a dynamic piece of software, any site specific H&S or sampling information is recorded and the most up to date information is easily transferred to any other technicians or personnel.
All staff involved in Severn Trent Water CIP2 have full access to Enicip which allows for full traceability, transparency and analysis of the data.

Sample integrity

In addition to the stringent sampling protocols in place, enitial has ensured that sample integrity is maintained throughout the process. enitial has added refrigerated vehicles to its operations to ensure sample fidelity during transportation. Samples are taken by enitial to its Wolverhampton HQ where they are stored and refrigerated until collection the same night. This enables i2 Analytical and the NLS to receive the samples by 6am the following morning, ensuring sample integrity is maintained at its highest level and the laboratory can start analysis promptly the following morning.
enitial manage both their own internal QAQC procedures as well as those of the contracted labs which include a thorough data check prior to the release of the data to the wider CIP group.

Post CIP2

Upon completion, the results of CIP2 will confirm and characterise the perceived environmental quality standards (EQS) compliance risk at each of the works. This will form the basis of future improvement programmes and provide background information with which the UK can respond to future EQS proposals. enitial’s involvement with CIP2 has provided it with a broad depth of expertise which will enable it to effectively provide both sampling and data management services for the monitoring of substance levels in various environments thanks to its experience, technician coverage, accreditations and bespoke software.
Ivor Parry, business development director at enitial says: “Meeting all the challenges set by CIP2 in terms of logistics is certainly no small feat. We worked hard to develop a piece of software in Enicip that would simplify the process of monitoring for Severn Trent Water, as well as the labs at i2 Analytical and the NLS. The traceability of the samples we take and the efficient analysis and reporting that Enicip enables has made it easier to meet CIP2’s stringent requirements for all parties involved.”

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enitial odour assessment case study

The Challenge

enitial has been working with Viridor  to undertake odour assessments in order to meet regulatory requirements and to help identify and mitigate any potential adverse effects that may arise from their operations.

Additional odour management services are offered at four IVC facilities in relation to the maintenance and functional testing of biofilter systems to abate odorous emissions.

Biofilter abatement systems are notoriously hard to optimise due to variations in their input flow rates, exhaust gas retention times, temperature, moisture and pH.  Monitoring and maintenance of all these parameters needs to be undertaken regularly and effectively if the biofilter is to operate efficiently. Electrical and electronic parts (interface communications to the control unit, cables and electric panels), structural components (fans, valves, designs of ducting systems and biofilter units, feeding systems and irrigations systems) also need to be kept in good operating condition.

The Solution

enitial works with Viridor in addressing the three key requirements – odour monitoring, biofilter maintenance and functional testing of biofilter systems.

Viridor assessed the waste materials being processed at each facility to identify their potential odour characteristics. Once this had been determined, a systematic monitoring plan was developed. The information gathered shows trends over a period of time caused by changes in the type of materials, process conditions and weather conditions, including seasonal changes.

enitial employs a team of field specialists and experienced professionals to schedule, manage and deliver environmental sampling services and carry out data reporting. This also includes the coordination of laboratory service providers and liaison with land owners.

enitial’s monitoring and engineering divisions have developed a service to assess, maintain and optimise the efficiency of biofilter systems. This includes assessing the biofilter, the efficiency of the dosing and water systems, testing emissions and measuring odours as well as testing, repairing and replacing other components such as temperature probes, water pumps, air fans, control panels and flow measurement devices. Each component is taken into consideration and the whole system is stripped down into sections to investigate possible faults. Environmental measurements such as odour concentrations are recorded before, during and at the end of the work to ensure that the optimisation of the biofilter system is effective.

 

enitial maps surface emissions

The Challenge

It’s vital that landfill site operators monitor emissions of gas from their sites to rectify any potential issues. Otherwise, they may breach permit conditions set by the Environment Agency (EA) and generate complaints from members of the public which may result in prosecution and hefty fines.

The Solution

Environmental monitoring specialist enitial conducts detailed surface emissions mapping surveys of landfill sites to identify any sources of gas (usually methane) so that site owners can take corrective action.

Using topographical information about the site, enitial develops the scope of the survey area and the route of the field technician which is navigable via GPS on a PDA device. Its surface emissions specialists can be on site within a few days of the client’s initial contact to commence the survey after the necessary preparation work had been completed.

enitial’s technicians use the latest TDL500 Laser Diode Methane Detector to take readings from the site’s surface, gas and leachate collection system infrastructure as well as open tipping areas in the case of landfill sites. The
ATEX certified detector is extremely sensitive and can measure methane levels accurately to one part per million. The technician covers the site methodically along a grid provided by the PDA’s inbuilt GPS (typically a 10 metre grid) at certain intervals (usually three to four seconds). The figures are stored on an enidata PDA, a handheld based electronic data collection device and management system, developed by enitial to replace paper-based data recording and improve the efficiency of environmental monitoring.

Once the survey is completed, the data is exported, processed and plotted onto the site’s topographical survey to provide the client with visual representation of the methane concentrations across the site. Hot spots of gas and problem areas can be easily identified on the site survey and located accurately via GPS.

Infrastructure and aftercare management of former landfill sites

Introduction

Environmental monitoring specialist enitial was appointed by Amec, a multinational engineering company, to help achieve the definitive closure of its former landfill site (Rye Loaf in West Yorkshire). The experts at enitial applied their technical expertise to provide a cost effective solution, manage the project efficiently and achieve the desired result ahead of schedule.

The challenge

The amount of waste going to landfill may have decreased in recent years, but there are still many active and closed landfill sites in the UK which need to be managed. It is thought that it can take more than 50 years for a site to achieve the completion criteria specified within environmental permits from the Environment Agency (EA) once it stops receiving waste. Managing these closed landfill sites is clearly a long term responsibility.

enitial was commissioned by Amec to carry out an infrastructure audit at the closed landfill site in Bingley, recommend improvements and implement them where necessary with the overall aim of transferring responsibility for Rye Loaf to the EA. This also included ongoing maintenance and routine monitoring in compliance with the site’s permit from the EA.

An experienced project management partner was required to oversee a structured programme of works because a number of components within the project are mutually dependent as well as ensuring it was completed on time and within budget. This work is beyond Amec’s core business which is why the company approached enitial, a specialist, to deliver and manage the entire project.

The solution

The experts at enitial conducted an infrastructure audit to comprehensively review the site including the existing monitoring points, access and services as well as highlighting any health and safety issues. enitial presented its recommendations to Amec and, following review meetings, was commissioned to undertake a comprehensive programme of upgrades and improvements to the site and its facilities.

This included environmental monitoring, civil and electrical engineering, groundworks, health and safety upgrades and the installation of sophisticated remote online monitoring systems as well as liaising with key stakeholders and statutory regulators.

enitial used its extensive technical expertise and
resources to execute the project as well as outsourcing some work to external companies such as specialist equipment, plant and service providers including electrical and civil engineering contractors.

The complex allocation of resources was supervised by enitial’s experienced project managers to deliver the infrastructure project before the deadline and within budget for Amec.

Supporting FCC Environment monitoring activities

Introduction

Environmental monitoring specialist enitial has delivered a number of supplementary monitoring projects for leading recycling and waste management company FCC Environment’s landfill sites since 2012. enitial also helped FCC Environment train its new technicians when the company created an environmental monitoring team after outsourcing this work for many years

The challenge

enitial provides a considerable range of additional monitoring services and consultancy work to FCC Environment at over 70 of its landfill sites including the following:

    • Perimeter gas monitoring
    • Groundwater monitoring
    • Surface water monitoring
    • Leachate monitoring
    • Occupational and environmental bioaerosol monitoring
    • Phase 1 and 2 surface emissions surveys
    • Emissions surveys using Best Available Technology TDL500 monitors
    • Annual site reviews
    • Landfill gas pumping trials
    • Landfill gas and leachate control system installations and subsequent servicingThe array and volume of work carried out by enitial has generated more than 50 contacts at FCC Environment with their own priorities, responsibilities and enquiries.

The solution

A dedicated account manager at enitial acts as the single point of contact to respond quickly to any enquiries from FCC Environment and ensure the efficient delivery of projects as specified. Each account manager at enitial is experienced in environmental monitoring and managing both closed and operational landfill sites, enabling them to provide technical support for FCC Environment.

The geographic spread of enitial’s technicians ensures that FCC Environment receives an extremely competitive monitoring day rate for any site in the UK as well as accurate and reliable data. enitial’s data analysts submit high quality data within set timescales to help FCC Environment satisfy the terms of its environmental permits.

FCC Environment can call upon the technical support and expertise of enitial when its team of environment managers requires cost-effective supplementary monitoring and consultancy work. enitial’s account managers ensure that projects are completed on time and to a high standard, ensuring that FCC Environment’s landfill sites remain compliant with standards set by the Environment Agency.

Viridor’s environmental monitoring

Introduction

Environmental monitoring in the waste management and recycling industry has been a paper-based process for a long time. The demand to capture data digitally has been growing but it’s only recently that monitoring using mobile technology has become both practical and affordable.

In addition, waste management and environmental companies require faster and more accurate methods of collecting field data to comply with environmental

The challenge

Viridor operates over 320 facilities across the UK including 39 landfill sites which require intensive environmental monitoring. In accordance with environmental permits from the Environment Agency (EA), the company routinely monitors a number of factors at its facilities. This includes the quantitative measurement of the level and quality of groundwater, surface water and leachate as well as surface emissions (such as hydrocarbons and hydrogen sulphide). In addition, the external environment beyond the boundary of the sites is measured qualitatively which includes litter, noise, odour, flies and dust.

Regulations as well as save time, money and minimise errors.

Environmental monitoring specialist enitial has worked with Viridor, one of the UK’s leading resource management and recycling companies, to implement a digital field data collection system called enidata to improve the accuracy of recordings at its facilities.

Within the industry, such data used to be manually recorded
in a notebook and transferred to a spreadsheet at a later
stage. This can result in transcription errors which meant
either erroneous readings were supplied to the Environment Agency or they had to be taken again. Viridor was keen to develop new methods of data collection to reduce transcription errors and introduce real-time data validation in the field in order improve the quality and efficiency of its environmental data. This solution has been transferred from landfill monitoring across Viridor’s portfolio of hard build infrastructure including anaerobic digestion plants and In-Vessel Composting facilities.

The solution

enitial worked with Viridor to develop enidata, a PDA-based electronic data capture device with modules for monitoring groundwater, surface water, leachate, surface emissions and the impact of its facilities.

The unique and user-friendly PDA-based data collection system, can record a number of variables such as water levels, temperature, pH and electrical conductivity as well as logging additional comments if boreholes at its landfill sites are blocked or need repairs. There are also a variety of modules to support field infrastructure audits and site inspections.