Utilities Energy Audits

By Baseline Water/Wastewater Engineering

In the water/wastewater industry, the popular “energy audit” is what many companies are doing to promote sustainability, a reduction in carbon footprint, and lower operating costs…but are they being done correctly?  The answer, more often than not, is no.  Many of these companies recommend simply replacing a motor or adding a variable frequency drive (“VFD”) to a pump or blower, which is NOT always the answer.

A proper energy audit dives into the root cause of the inefficiency ...

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De-Mystifying ALTA Surveys

By Aaron Demo, PLS

Professional Land Surveyors are constantly helping clients understand what they need when they say they need a “survey.”  Surveys can range from Improvement Location Certificates (“ILCs”) to the infamous “ALTA surveys”.  Surveys are generally subject to state and local regulations, but can still vary in dramatic ways.  The ALTA survey is unique in that it is governed by a very detailed set of requirements and should only ...

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Colorado Floodplain Rules

In an effort to increase public safety and reduce flood losses across the state, the Colorado Water Conservation Board issued new floodplain rules and regulations that became effective on January 14, 2011.  These rules build off of the FEMA rules with the hope to provides uniform standards for regulatory floodplains in Colorado and activities in those floodplains.  For your reading pleasure, the rules can be found here: http://cwcb.state.co.us/legal/Documents/Rules/CWCBFloodRulesRegs2010.pdf.

One of the more stringent criteria found in the CWCB rules ...

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Bakken and North Dakota Development

As of 2012, North Dakota has overtaken California to become the third-largest U.S. oil-producing state, as fracking technology has boosted shale oil output.  Production has doubled in the three years since 2009. The boom in oil production in the region has also effectively cut the Midwestern state’s unemployment rate to the lowest in the country, at 3.3% as of December 2011.  In fact, oil companies say there are more jobs than people in North Dakota. The oil boom has arrived ...

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Colorado’s Stringent Floodplain Rules

By Rick Behning, PE

In an effort to increase public safety and reduce flood losses across the state, the Colorado Water Conservation Board issued new floodplain rules and regulations that became effective on January 14, 2011.  These rules build off the FEMA rules.  The hope is to provide uniform standards for regulatory floodplains in Colorado and activities in those floodplains.

One of the more Continue Reading →

What to Do with Fracking’s Flowback Water?

By Baseline Water/Wastewater Engineering

energyApproximately one million gallons of “flowback” water return to the surface, and is typically hauled to a disposal site where it is injected thousands of feet into the ground, a process environmentalists and some residents of oil fields worry may contaminate ground water.  Many agree that this practice is not sustainable and are considering it to be the next 800 lb. gorilla that the EPA will be addressing.  ...

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How to Invest for Potential Fracking Regulation

energyThe following article was published on www.bakkenoil.org on January 23, 2012.

Michael Filloon of Seeking Alpha has a five-part article series on investing for potential of EPA regulation of fracking as a result of public concerns about water usage and contamination. Below is a synopsis of his excellent analysis, but for an in-depth assessment of how to invest, be sure to read his series.

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is an industry practice ...

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U.S. Water Infrastructure Receives Nearly Failing Grade

By John McLain, PE

The Water Innovations Alliance (WIA) recently completed an assessment of the state of the U.S. water infrastructure, which was given an overall grade of D- by the American Society of Civil Engineers in its most recent infrastructure report card.

Underlying that nearly failing grade, WIA produced some startling statistics in a recent newsletter (not yet posted to their website):

  • More ...
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Sustainable Pavement Design – Pavement’s Future

By Noah Nemmers, PE

civil-engineeringAs pavement technology continues to change and advance, a major emphasis is being put on environmental stewardship. Highway administration’s efforts are increasingly aimed at the industry’s overall use of recycled materials, environmental and ecological constrains, as well as the Long-Term Pavement Performance. Better determining the current condition of the country’s pavements will serve as a roadmap for where we go next in continuing to advance and implement today’s ...

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Colorado’s Current Snowpack and Reservoir Storage

By Chris Rundall, PE

 In the state of Colorado, where our offices are headquartered, there is constant concern over snowpack levels and reservoir fill.  Because snowfall in the Rockies provides the main source of water for the state’s reservoirs, we keep a close eye on annual percentages and averages. Currently, the statewide snow pack is well below where we were last year at this time.  According to the Natural Resources Conservation ...

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