If you want to ensure the safety of the ground you walk on; you should hire a geologist. Whether you own a home on a hill, need to dig a well, or are going to break ground on a construction site, a geologist can offer helpful insights. Geology is the study of the earth, its material makeup, and processes that affect it.
There are several types of geologists who assist people and businesses in many ways. For instance, an engineering geologist inspects the interface between land and buildings to determine buildings’ safety.
Learn how a Los Angeles geologist can benefit you and your construction project.
What Does a Geologist Do?
You may think of geologists as scientists primarily concerned with rocks and geologic features like the Grand Canyon. While this is accurate for some geologists, it doesn’t encapsulate the wide range of jobs geologists perform.
Within the overarching term “geologist,” there are engineering geologists, geomorphologists, geophysicists, mineralogists, geochemists, structural geologists, petrologists, sedimentologists, hydrogeologists, and more. In general, the study of geology is about the earth’s surface, but geology has a significant nuance that makes these professionals a vital part of our everyday lives.
Engineering Geologists and Geotechnical Engineering
Engineering geologists are trained to determine how man-made structures like a home or construction project interact with the ground. They can tell if a parcel of land is safe to build a specific structure on by performing investigations and studies. Whether your project is large or small, engineering geologists use their knowledge to ensure the safety and longevity of the structure.
Geotechnical Engineering is a closely related geological practice that can save you money on your structure’s foundation. Without geotechnical engineering expertise, many projects are over-designed to ensure they are safe. While this is better than forgoing testing and assuming a minimal design will suffice, it is not always necessary and sometimes costly.
Geotechnical engineers perform ground surveys that inform your structural engineers and contractors about the level of care they need to take with the structure’s foundation.
This can save significant amounts of money while maintaining the stability of the building. For this reason, it is cost-effective to hire an engineering geologist for real estate firms that are planning to build new homes.
Geologists that specialize in hydrology are called hydrogeologists. They test groundwater for water quality, water level for well digging and determine dewatering requirements for construction projects. Hydrogeologists are necessary for acquiring permits for buildings with subterranean levels. A hydrogeologist also fills out water quality reports to satisfy government agency requirements.
Methane Site Testing
When methane leaks into the ground, it fills porous spaces and creates an explosion hazard for construction projects. Past land uses that commonly lead to methane leaching into the ground include landfills, dairy farms, and oil fields. Geologists have the expertise to test for soil gas per government regulations, advise on construction projects, and even create methane mitigation design plans.
If a construction project is within the Methane Zone or the Methane Buffer Zone, it requires a methane mitigation design. Specialized geologists can formulate the methane mitigation design and consult during construction to ensure all local and state regulations are met. Without this service, buildings may violate government code and are at an elevated risk of explosion or fire damage.
The first step in starting a new construction project is filling out an Environmental Site Assessment. A geology scientist assists construction companies and contractors with this step by reviewing a site’s history, looking over building documents, and conducting the required comprehensive site assessment.
If there are any issues with the site, like abundant groundwater or soil gas, then geologists know what next steps to take for quick remediation. Constant revaluation is necessary to ensure the site is improving during remediation.
Private wastewater services
Hydrogeologists and engineers are necessary to build private septic systems. When municipal septic services are not an option, homes and businesses turn to private wastewater systems for their septic needs. Building a septic system includes percolation soil tests, geologic feasibility reports, and a detailed system design. Geologists are trained to perform these tests and create safe designs.
Building in Los Angeles County? Hire a Geologist
Geologists provide groundwater services, soil gas testing, septic system designs, and construction consultation. They can save your project time and money by expediting the permitting process and advising you on cost-effective designs. If you are building anything from a home to an underground parking garage, consult with geologist before erecting the structure.
Applied Earth Sciences serves Southern California with high-quality geotechnical engineering for small and large projects. We use the skill and knowledge gained over 30 years of experience to ensure your project is safe and stable from start to finish.
Contact us today at 1-818-552-6000 for more information about our services or to request a proposal.