Hydrology Studies for Wetland Determination


Changes in surrounding land use can have a significant impact on wetland hydrology. A comprehensive hydrology study on your property can provide data that documents the effect these changes have had on your site’s hydrology. This often allows for a more accurate wetland edge determination, since the extent of jurisdictional wetland is often overestimated in the absence of water table data.

 

SER pioneered the use of hydrology studies for more accurately determining wetland edges. Our extensive experience and state-of-the-art monitoring equipment ensure that you get the most accurate results possible.

 

SER has had considerable experience and success in the re-classification of land from jurisdictional wetland to non-jurisdictional status. Between 1994 and 1998 alone, in all of the areas we monitored we were able to either eliminate jurisdictional status completely or greatly reduce the area subject to wetland regulation, increasing buildable upland on the sites. Due to our studies, our clients had an increase in land value that, conservatively estimated, exceeds $2 million. Our experience with hydrology studies could give you similar results, increasing the value and salability of your property.

 

Based on our wetland delineation results, we can determine if a hydrology study should be performed on your site and can determine the best placement of monitoring wells to monitor your site as efficiently as possible.

 

Completion of a hydrology study involves several steps:

First, we prepare and submit a one year monitoring study design to your project city and the Corps of Engineers for their input and approval. If local agencies do not have a chance to approve the study design before it takes place, they will be less likely to accept the study results. (Please note that agencies may require up to three years of data collection depending on environmental conditions such as abnormally dry or wet years).

 

After the design is approved, monitoring wells are installed as soon as the last frost leaves the ground (usually sometime in April). We monitor the site bi-weekly during the early part of the growing season, and less often later on in the season.

 

We determine the best combination of both manual and electronic monitoring wells that will be needed to provide the most complete data coverage as efficiently as possible. After the study has been completed, all wells will be removed from the field.

 

At the end of the field season, hydrologic data is analyzed along with environmental factors (e.g., precipitation, soil morphology, etc.). We use this data to provide a highly accurate wetland edge (based on criteria set forth in the Army Corps of Engineers 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual). A final report, including the results of the study, our conclusions, and site-specific graphics will be written and distributed to the appropriate regulatory agencies for their review.

 

It is recommended that all wetland edge determinations be reviewed by the regulatory agencies before any planning commences.

One example of how an SER hydrology study saved our client hundreds of thousands of dollars is the Pick’s Golf Tee Hydrology Study.

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