An environmental survey may be anything from a simple topographic survey to determine drainage, to a detailed topographic survey involving test holes, monitoring wells, surface drainage, surface facilities, vegetation, limits of containment, limits of disturbance and location of buried facilities. In general, however, the purpose of these surveys is related to environmental issues.

The installation of boreholes, testholes, piezometers, etc. for site monitoring or reclamation purposes is often required in today’s environmentally sensitive world. An Alberta Land Surveyor can assist you in obtaining the data you need to determine elevations and positional information on the elements of your program. Not only can the Surveyor coordinate the field measurements to the horizontal and vertical datums you require, but the Surveyor can also correlate the position of the data to property boundaries.

On sites where ground water is being monitored or modeled through monitoring wells (piezometers), the determination of accurate elevations is critical. The surveyor can determine accurate differential elevations between your monitoring wells and correlate the locations of these structures to the property boundaries for the area in question.

If a leak/spill has occured which results in a cleanup operation being required, the surveyor can provide you with detailed and accurate area computations for the limits of concern with respect to disposition or property boundaries. The establishment of this site record can be extremely useful for mitigation of liability and future site reclamation procedures.

If you have a site that contains materials, which if they are released, may create an environmental concern, you may want to have a spill containment plan in place. Contouring of a site to determine drainage patterns can assist in the design and construction of dykes or holding pond areas to contain a potential spill.

The survey of existing berms around sites or vessels can be used to determine containment volumes within the berms or cells to confirm containment capability.

Survey returns for these surveys can range from coordinate listings in Excel or Asc format to complete facility/topographic detail plans in digital form along with volume/area reports.

Survey procedures for these surveys may employ Real Time Kinematic GPS, Total Station or Precise Differential Leveling, depending on the project requirements. You should discuss your expectation and required accuracies with your surveyor to ensure an acceptable result will be achieved.

The survey requirements for these surveys are not, in general, covered by any statutory or regulatory requirement. The Alberta Land Surveyors’ Manual of Standard Practice does cover general survey guidelines and your Land Surveyor should be able to advise you on the precision and accuracies achievable for various survey procedures.