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Dewatering Sample? What Is It and Why It’s Important

June 21, 2023

Featured in this photo, NOVA’s Environmental Scientist is collecting a dewatering system discharge sample in Atlanta, Georgia. During the construction process, the foundation pit must be kept free of water. This water may come from precipitation, or it may come from any of a variety of other sources, such as surface water seeping into the surrounding soil or flowing over impermeable soil formations, off-site stormwater flow, and groundwater.  Dewatering is the process of removing groundwater and/or surface water from a site. This process is important for maintaining a safe workplace and protecting construction materials.

There are multiple methods of dewatering, depending on the excavation depth, the depth of the groundwater table, soil type, environment, season, and many other factors.  Dewatering can be done as a temporary measure during shallower excavation and foundation efforts or as a permanent measure in the case of deeper excavations. Either way, the removed water must be discharged from the site—sometimes into the municipal sewer or stormwater system.  In some cases, ongoing monitoring of the effluent water is required by the local municipality.

Here, NOVA’s Environmental Scientist samples a permanent dewatering system at one of NOVA’s many large-scale construction projects.  The collected sample is analyzed by a certified laboratory, and results are submitted along with discharge volume data to the local municipality to assist them in maintaining healthy wastewater treatment facilities.

Photo credit: Jonathan Muller, Environmental Scientist, Kennesaw, GA Office


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