Tales from the Trenches
Regional Land and Water News You Can Use
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January 2012                           Issue 11  

Welcome to the World Dean Parrish!
Baby Dean
Few events give us as much pleasure as the opportunity to announce the expansion of the ALWI family. Staff weddings also are happy occasions here.  This month we have the honor and privilege of reporting both.


Baby Dean was born on January 24, 2012 at Carroll Hospital Center in Westminster.  He arrived at a strapping 6 pounds and 2 ounces and a lengthy 19 inches. Married on January 9, parents Amy Martinez Parrish and Christopher Parrish are honeymooning at home, adjusting to sleepless nights and diapers.

A 9 year veteran of ALWI, Amy is a Professional Geologist and Registered Sanitarian. After an extended maternity leave, Amy plans to return to ALWI in a part-time capacity later this spring.

Mystery Resolved: Source of Water Beneath Urban Parking Lot Identified


Parking Lot LeakALWI was contracted by the owner of a Baltimore County apartment complex to evaluate the origin of water emanating from a crack in the pavement.  To the owner, the water had no natural explanation of its origin and had not been historically associated with the property. The onset of the problem correlated in time with the Virginia earthquake of August 2011.

The owner theorized that the origin may be leaking public water supply pipes, possibly damaged by the earthquake. The municipality initially doubted the earthquake theory, given the hundreds of miles between the Virginia epicenter and the Maryland apartment complex. The municipality speculated on a natural water origin instead. The owner became concerned about liability for wintertime ice, as well as the expense and uncertainty of remediation.

ALWI performed a limited background hydrogeologic assessment including  a water balance analysis, and we could not explain the 3 gallon-per-minute (or more) flow based on local topographic relationships and published recharge rates. We sampled the emanating water for municipal disinfection constituents and fluoride. We then commissioned an acoustic leak detection survey, using high-sensitivity equipment and specialized techniques.

Based on it's unmistakable acoustic signature and as supported by water chemistry, we identified a public supply system leak off-premises and up-gradient.  Though time correlation with the earthquake does not prove causation, the earthquake as the underlying cause of the leak remains plausible if not confirmed. This finding was presented to the municipality, which accepted the result and has agreed to remedy the condition.
In This Issue
Baby Dean Parrish
Parking Lot Leak Study
Zachary Neal Joins ALWI
Contact Us:
7540 Main Street Ste 7
Sykesville, MD 21784
410-795-4626 phone
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New Staff Scientist
Zachary Neal

ALWI is pleased to announce that
Mr. Zachary Neal has accepted a full-time position as a Staff Scientist and joined us after the New Year.

Mr. Neal completed his B.S. in Environmental Science at the New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry in 2011.

Mr. Neal is supporting our two-year contract for MDE, on which he is preparing Source Water Protection Plans for  municipalities with wells susceptible to contamination.

His academic research focused on surface water geochemistry. He found a correlation between nitrate concentrations and freeze-thaw events. 

Mr. Neal is an avid back-country skier and is an experienced alpine backpacker. This has taken him as far as the Cascade Range of Washington State.
  Upcoming Events:
  • Presentation to Local Citizens Group - Feb 13, Taylorsville, MD
  • SB 236 Hearing (Growth & Septics Bill) - Feb 14, Annapolis MD  
  • MRWA Trade Show - May 6-8, Ocean City, MD  
  •  MML Trade Show - June 24-27, Ocean City, MD
About Us -

Advanced Land and Water, Inc. is a hydrogeological and environmental consulting firm with extensive Mid-Atlantic regional experience in water supply and wastewater disposal. Our water supply experience extends to both groundwater and surface water and includes exploration, development, permitting, management and protection of both new and existing supplies. Our wastewater services include soil classification and suitability evaluations, percolation tests, spray and drip irrigation studies, infiltrometer tests, groundwater mounding calculations and nitrate loading assessments. We also provide a diversity of GIS mapping, environmental and other specialty consulting services.