Probing Times: Field Team Faces Mother Nature's Fury

Article Published: Fall 2013


Environmental Probing Investigations collected continuous soil cores from 56 borings at a site in northern New Jersey. The subsurface was pre-heated to nearly 400 degrees F prior to sampling to alleviate onsite contamination. The maze of gray electrical junction boxes and electrical cables and air horses were used to distribute electricity to power the 'heater cans' in the subsurface.


A four-man field team from Environmental Probing Investigations in Cream Ridge, NJ, went toe-to-toe with Mother Nature this summer during a super hot and humid week in northern New Jersey. Warren Atkinson, Bob Flemming, John Brass, AJ Benjamin, Josh Septor, Jeremy Wilkins, and Mike Santore, drillers for EPI, spent seven days in July with heat-resistant gloves and face shields on a project where the ground had been electrically heated to 35-ft. bags to treat contaminates in the subsurface. Prior to EPI's arrival onsite, electrical junction boxes, connected by electric cables and air hoses, were installed. The junction boxes distributed electricity to heat up 'heater cans' in the subsurface to approximately 400 degrees F to remediate onside contamination. With extremely high humidity and temperatures in the upper 90's, the field team completed 56 borings on ground approaching 200 degrees F. EPI used their 7720FT and 6620DT to collect the soil cores in Teflon liners from between 20- and 40-ft bags. After each sample was pulled, the liners were cooled with ice in a fabricates trough so they could be cut open for viewing and analysis.



Adding to the already hot/humid ambient temps, 200 degree F steam is seen pouring out of a borehold after sampling tools were pulled.

Warren Atkinson (left) and Bob Flemming, EPI drillers, catch a few winks in the comfort of an air-conditioned truck after standing on the heated surface all day.



One of EPI's 7720DT rigs stands alone as steam vents from a borehole after sampling while the drillers take a break to get some relief from the heat.

Tony Pressimone , EPI's Operations Manager said, "during a summer sizzler of a heat wave this past July, our guys endured difficult site conditions as well as Mother Nature's fury. During our sampling event, the ground had cooled to a 'comfortable' 200 degrees F while the air temps were in the high 90s. The EPI crew preserved and completed all of the soil sampling ahead of schedule and without incident. Great job, guys!"