Dredge & Fill Water Sampling

Phoslab Environmental Testing Services

industrial field samplingFlorida has more than 11 million acres of wetlands, comprising almost 30% of the state’s total area. 90% of the state’s wetlands are freshwater, with a mix of forests, marshes, and emerging wetland territories. Recognizing that the state’s water resources and local ecosystems have played a key role in its history, since at least the 1970’s Florida has strictly regulated dredging and filling operations to protect its wetlands and surface waters and to preserve and promote its natural resources.

Florida’s Phoslab Environmental Laboratories offers dredge and fill sampling services that can help land developers and property owners to verify that any alterations to wetlands and surface waters do not adversely affect the state’s ecosystems.

Construction Permitting and Florida Dredge and Fill Sampling

Florida defines dredging as any type of excavation in surface waters or wetlands, and filling as the deposition of any type of materials in surface waters or wetlands. These definitions are sufficiently broad to cover a large number of land development projects in Florida.

Applicants for Florida dredge and fill permits are required to submit written descriptions of the natural habitat in and around a proposed construction area and the steps they propose to take to eliminate or reduce the impact of the construction project on the area. A construction applicant that includes a dredge and fill sampling program with its permit application will demonstrate a high level of concern for that impact.

Phoslab’s Dredge and Fill Sampling Services

Phoslab’s dredge and fill sampling services for Florida surface water or wetland construction sites include:

  • Collecting water and soil samples from multiple locations around a surface water or wetlands construction site to establish a base line;
  • Regular sampling and analysis during construction with EPA-approved sampling and testing techniques;
  • Written reports that verify reduction or elimination of any adverse impact on surface waters or wetlands as a result of construction;
  • Recommended remediation programs if unanticipated anomalies arise during construction.

Land developers and construction managers know that time is money in virtually every construction project. Florida’s regulators can impose stoppages at construction sites if they believe that the project is having an adverse impact on surrounding surface waters and wetlands. Phoslab’s dredge and fill sampling services can keep a project within its proposed schedule by verifying the absence of any impact and by alerting construction project managers to potential problems before those problems cause work stoppages and lost project revenue.

Soil and Water Sample Collection and Testing Techniques for Dredge and Fill Projects in Florida

Phoslab’s dredge and fill sample collection and testing techniques are designed to minimize interference with construction operations. Our laboratory technicians will develop a program with sample collection kits that are custom-designed for each individual project. Collection containers will be labeled to prevent source confusion or chain of custody problems and will include preservatives that prevent degradation of samples before they reach our analytical labs.

Our main laboratory, which is centrally located in Lakeland, Florida, is equipped with state-of-the-art analytical tools and is staffed with trained and certified environmental technicians who follow rigorous testing protocols to deliver fast, accurate, and dependable results.

Dredge and Fill Sampling for Wetlands Mitigation Projects

Florida’s regulators understand that a development project might have an unavoidable impact on wetlands or surface water. Rather than terminating these projects, the state has established a Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) that sets standardized procedures for mitigation that can offset any losses.

Those procedures include considerations of wetlands and surface water contributions to local ecosystems and the amount of mitigation that will be necessary to offset losses. Florida project developers can get a more accurate picture of their mitigation obligations with dredge and fill sampling that gives a clear and objective picture of current conditions. The objective information in Phoslab’s reports will help developers to respond to regulators that might demand excessive mitigation projects and, accordingly, will reduce total mitigation costs.

Contact PhosLab for Florida Dredge and Fill Sampling Services

For more than fifty years, Phoslab Environmental Laboratories has helped to protect and maintain Florida’s diverse wetlands and surface water ecosystems. Our dredge and fill sampling services are part of the greater suite of environmental field sampling services that we offer, including:

  • Waste water testing;
  • Pesticide and agricultural runoff control;
  • Identification of contaminants in industrial waste streams;
  • Biomedical research support;
  • Testing of products that are imported or exported through Florida’s ports.

We are certified and accredited by the state’s Department of Health and our analytical facilities have been recognized by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). Please see our website or call us  to speak with one of our dredge and fill sampling consultants about how our services can keep your wetlands or surface water construction project on track for timely completion with minimal impact on local water ecosystems.

Additional Resources:

  1. USGS.gov: Hydrology and Ecology of Freshwater Wetlands in Central Florida – A Primer. https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/1342/
  2. FloridaDep.gov: ERP Dredging and Filling. https://floridadep.gov/water/submerged-lands-environmental-resources-coordination/content/erp-dredging-and-filling
  3. FloridaDep.gov: The Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM). https://floridadep.gov/water/submerged-lands-environmental-resources-coordination/content/uniform-mitigation-assessment