How Aerial Surveys Support Environmental Engineering Projects

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aerial surveyThe use of aerial surveys and GIS mapping in environmental engineering has multiple applications in a range of industries, from engineering to surveying to environmental assessment. Large corporatism, small businesses, individual landowners and government agencies all use environmental consulting services for many different kinds of projects. These can include ground water modeling, water quality monitoring and clean up of Superfund sites.

Aerial surveys for environmental engineering 
Aerial surveying and GIS mapping are important tools for a variety of environmental and engineering projects. These can include water quality monitoring, groundwater modeling and geotechnical surveys. Aerial surveys and GIS mapping data reveal relationships, patterns and trends that are useful in a number of different fields.

Aerial surveying produces high-resolution 39 megapixel digital color photographs that provide information about the state and quality of water bodies. These provide information for better decision making by individuals, corporations and government agencies for essential projects like ground water modeling and water quality monitoring.

Monitoring surface water quality 
Water pollution is a serious concern and affects all water bodies, including streams, rivers, lakes and the oceans. Fertilizers, pesticides, chemicals and trash are all major pollutants, and it is estimated that around two thirds of all bays and estuaries in the U.S. are degraded through nitrogen and phosphorous pollution.

Studies have shown that as much as 45% of all streams, 47% of all lakes, and 32% of bays in the U.S. are polluted. This has substantial negative consequences for a number of industries, such as fishing, tourism and recreation. Environmental engineering projects can help to assess the water quality, extent of pollution and propose and implement strategies for clean up.

Cleaning up superfund sites 
Environmental engineering services are central to the complex and multiple phases of cleaning up Superfund sites. The different phases include detailed site investigation and characterization, remedial design, construction management, and monitoring services on sites. Contaminants can include heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and other hazardous materials originating from abandoned mines lands, industrial sites, and chemical or agricultural facilities.

These contaminants can affect soil, stream sediments, ground water, surface water, and air. Remedial programs are directed towards enabling the reuse of contaminated sites without risks to human health. Institutional controls and community protective measures must be implemented for the management and maintenance of reclaimed areas.

Tools like GIS mapping and aerial surveys are essential for environmental engineering projects in a range of industries. Large corporations, small businesses, government agencies and local bodies can all use these services to better manage the balance between humans and the environment.

2 Reasons to Keep Coffee in the Break Room

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commercial coffeeOne of the most common activities that people around the country share is drinking coffee. People drink coffee in the morning to wake up, with dessert after a long day, and anytime in between. The National Coffee Drinking Trends reported that for 2017, 62% of survey respondents said that they had consumed coffee the previous day.

When the majority of people spend 8-10 hours a day at the workplace, the convenience of grabbing coffee that’s already in the workplace is fantastic! Here are some great reasons why having commercial coffee at the office can benefit everyone in the workplace.


Everyone is always thinking about how they can save money. Think about the amount of money you could save if you didn’t go to a coffee shop at least once a day, spending anywhere up at $6 on a cup of coffee. Having coffee in the office can save an average employee up to $30 a week if coffee is provided in the break room. The employee is no longer stopping at the coffee shop on their way to work, on their breaks, or on the way home because they can get their coffee from the office coffee maker.

Another place that employees will indirectly be saving money is in gas. If employees are getting their coffee from the break room instead of driving to the coffee shop possibly several times a day, gas costs are drastically reduced. This may not seem like a lot, depending on how far away the coffee shop is, but it really adds up. Having a coffee machine for the office can put money back in everyone’s pockets, which will make everyone happy.

Coffee Culture

Having commercial coffee in the workplace can also benefit the relationships between the employees at the office. Instead of everyone spending so much time outside of the office getting their coffee, employees are spending much more time in the break room and at their desks, staying in the office. Coworkers are mingling in the break room, getting to know each other, forming friendships, and better work relationships. Overall, this can certainly lead to a much higher quality work environment, which will also create an overall more productive staff at the office. All thanks to keeping coffee in the break room!

If your employees are struggling with that afternoon caffeine fix, make sure you’re looking into your commercial coffee options. Your employees could reap all of these benefits and more!

Safety Tips for Working Around Dangerous Welding Gases

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purge monitorThe welding industry is older than most people think (the first recorded weld occurred in 3,500 B.C.!), and over its long years there have been a number of tools and equipment invented to assist it. Among these are tools like purge monitors and pipe alignment clamps, which were designed to aid the welder in doing their job successfully.

But while purge monitors and other purge equipment may help keep gases and unwanted air particles away from the welding zones, they do not help keep the welder safe from toxic welding fumes. That is the job of a good ventilation system. However, sometimes the ventilation system isn’t enough, and that’s where these tips can help:

How To Handle Fumes

One of the best ways that one can handle welding fumes is to implement the OSHA guidelines known as the Hierarchy of Controls. These guidelines include practices such as elimination and substitution, engineering controls, administrative and work practice controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Let’s take a closer look at each of these practices:

Elimination and Substitution

These are designed to prevent potentially harmful exposures by doing something like switching to shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), or to gas metal arc welding (GMAW) with a solid or metal coated wire. You should take the time to look at the process and find the best way to accomplish your goals with less fume generation.

Engineering Controls

This involves physical changes to the workplace such as isolation (enclosing the welding process), or ventilation. Ventilation is the most common precaution, and there are many ways that it can be done. Natural ventilation, mechanical ventilation, or capturing devices to keep the fumes out of the welder’s breathing zone.

Administrative and Work Practice Controls

These require the welder or the employer to do something themselves, such as re-positioning the head away from the fumes, or moving their body so the air flows back to front. These practices ensure the fumes are pushed away from the welder while they work.

Personal Protection Equipment

Items like NIOSH-approved respirators fall into this category, and each type has a protection factor assigned to them that tells the level of protection that will be given. You should make sure you and your employees inspect these respirators often to ensure they are properly taken care of.

Purge monitors can be a good way to keep unwanted air particles out of your welding zone, but you need to worry about your own health too. Welding is a dangerous job in the wrong circumstances and you should do all you can to avoid that.

Common Injuries Suffered From Home Health Care Workers

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home health workers compensation


For home health care businesses, it’s important to have a number of insurance plans including home health business insurance and home health care liability insurance, but one of the most important insurances to have is home health workers compensation insurance. Home health care workers are 50% more likely to experience an injury while on the job than hospital workers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Home health care workers are more likely to experience injury because they are in an unfamiliar environment for most of their work day. While the patients in hospitals come and go and change rooms, the actual setup of a hospital or doctor’s office typically remains static in terms of the positioning of rooms, equipment, and offices. However, when the home health care worker is on the job they are in an environment dominated by the patient and they are at the mercy of the patient’s own organization and cleanliness.

Because of this, it is essential for your home health care business to have home health workers compensation insurance under its belt in the event that your employees suffer from injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries home health care workers are likely to experience:

  • Bites and scratches from animals
    While animals are not allowed in hospitals or doctor’s offices unless they are for therapeutic or medical purposes, there are no laws against having dogs and other pets on the premises during home health care treatment. Therefore, a home health care employee may suffer from a bite if a patient’s dog becomes territorial or protective.

    The same is true for cats. Cats can become hostile if they feel threatened and oftentimes a scratch from their claws can be as dangerous as a dog’s bite due to the possibility of infection. The bacteria from a cat’s litter box can remain on their claws and so if a home health care worker is scratched by an aggressive or defensive cat they could end up in the hospital with an infection.
  • Car accidents
    Another way that home health care workers differ from traditional hospital workers is that they often perform on the job transportation, which typically falls within three categories. The home health care employee may drive on behalf of the client to pick up an item such as medication or to drop something off, transport the patient from one location to another, and drive from one patient’s home to another while on the job.

    This increases the risk of the home health care worker getting in an accident. And in the event that the accident occurs on company time, they may file for home care workers compensation insurance, which is why it’s important to have your business insured in the case of these events.
  • Trips and falls
    Trips and falls aren’t only injuries suffered by employees in warehouses, but also may occur in the home health care business due to the unfamiliar environment of the client’s home. If a patient has moved furniture or has left something on the floor, the home health care employee may trip over it and suffer from an injury such as a sprain, twist, or fracture.

    Additionally, because most homes do not have elevators, an employee carrying medical equipment for their patients may suffer from a fall on the stairs, which could also result in serious injury and the filing of a home health workers compensation insurance claim.

Home healthcare business insurance is important to have for your company, but it’s workers compensation insurance that is essential for any business owner who is responsible for more than one employee. Home health workers compensation insurance is more likely to be used by employees, as the risk of injury is more common in home health care businesses which work in unfamiliar and changing environments. To protect your employees from injury and your business from lawsuit, insure your business with home care workers compensation insurance today.

Asset Management: The Advantages for Wastewater Facilities

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asset reliabilityRunning a wastewater facility is a huge responsibility, and small decisions (or the lack of proactive decision making) can have a very real impact on the population it services. And we don’t just mean in terms of health and safety; bad decisions can negatively impact local economies as well.

Running a facility of this nature is a high stakes affair, both for employees and local residents. And if the stakes aren’t already high enough, let’s not forget about the web of regulations and legal compliance issues plants and facilities must contend with.

Nonetheless, the fragile nature of our country’s wastewater infrastructure means that this can be an up-hill battle. Estimations report that by 2020, almost half of all assets in wastewater facilities will be past their half-way point for usefulness, according to the Environemental Protection Agency. Fortunately, developments such as asset integrity and/or reliability management and risk-based inspection (RBI) have been accepted by the global community as appropriate methods of efficiently managing assets and systems.

Asset Management: Building Stronger Communities

Water and wastewater systems are incredibly complex networks made up of pipes, valves, tanks, pumps, wells, treatment facilities, and more. All of these parts comprise a group of assets, which tend to lose value over time as the system corrodes and ages. As this aging progresses, the cost of operation and maintenance increases.

Already, upgrading water and wastewater systems is costing major cities, like Baltimore.

Managing these aging assets requires a delicate balance. For many years, it will be less expensive to maintain aging assets than to replace them. However, after a certain point, the expenses become unsustainable, and municipalities would will actually save money in the long-term by replacing the aging assets. That being said, how do you know when you’ve reached that point of no return?

Today, best practices call for asset management, which is important for a number of reasons, particularly for wastewater management plants and facilities.

  • The assets in the facility represent a very large public or private investment, sometimes both.
  • The water infrastructure being operated at the facility is important to the overall economic development of the community and municipality.
  • Proper operation of these water facilities are necessary for public health and safety.
    Asset management directly supports and promotes efficiency and innovation in its systemic operation.
  • Increase knowledge of the location of assets and asset reliability.
  • Better communication with customers.
  • Improved safety and emergency response.
  • The ability to more effectively plan for the future.

Without proper asset management and asset reliability systems in place, that number could be much, much higher.


To learn more, contact Pinnacle Advanced Reliability Technologies today for asset integrity and reliability support.

Why You Need the Help of Professional PowerPoint Designers

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powerpoint graphic designPresentations can have a lot riding on them, from huge business deals to multi-million dollar contracts. While PowerPoint can be used to organize the bake sale at your kid’s school, this software is used every day for high stakes proposals. A bad proposal can certainly make or break an important decision.

And while most business professionals know how to use PowerPoint software, they certainly aren’t always masters at formatting and designing the slides. And when it comes down to it, they shouldn’t be. The person giving a presentation should spend time and energy on the content and their actual oral delivery. That’s where the professionals come in.

If you really want to give your next proposal the best chance at success, then you’ll want to invest in professional PowerPoint graphic design. Many businessmen and women don’t even realize such a thing exists. Check out these three reasons outlining why it’s a great idea to leave the design of your presentation’s slides to PowerPoint presentation design services:

Outsource To Experts Who Understand the Principles of Design
Whether we know it or not, our eyes naturally gravitate towards specific visual elements. There is a science to font style, size, colors themes, orientation, the way and format in which images are presented, and every other little detail.

The designers at a professional design service have not only studied these principles generally, but have studied them specifically in relation to public speaking and business presentations.

Benefit From Their Software Expertise
No matter how well you think you grasp a given program, there is a near guarantee that there are some features you still haven’t discovered. But by outsourcing the actual design to professional PowerPoint production services, you can rest assured that these trained professionals are maximizing the program effectively with the most excellent PowerPoint graphic design possible.

If there’s a lot riding on your next PowerPoint proposal, then give it the best possible chances of making an impact.

More Time For the Important Part: You
Instead of fiddling with graphics and wondering what color scheme to use, communicate with a professional service to achieve the PowerPoint graphic design that you want. When you do, you can save time for the most important part of the presentation: your delivery. By outsourcing PowerPoint design, you’ll have more time for practicing and perfecting your oral presentation.

Remember, stories, which make up two-thirds of our daily conversations, are helpful tools for articulating your ideas.

Visuals are important, too. After all, our brain processes them 60,000x faster than text, and they increase retention by 42%.

Invest in professional PowerPoint graphic design to ensure that the finished product is everything you ever wanted it to be — and more.

Get Your Business’s Spring Cleaning Done with the Help of Parking Lot Clean Up Services

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parking lot clean upSpring is in the air, but with it comes a host of issues for property owners. Parking lots, for example, see the snow pile up during the winter, resulting in huge drifts of snow and, eventually, half-frozen slush piles caked in oil, gasoline, and dirt. All of the trash and debris that was frozen over the winter, meanwhile, has now begun to spread out over the parking lot, resulting in a mess that would be difficult to clean up on one’s own. It’s not a great look, especially for businesses that are counting on customer traffic to pick up once more with the warm weather.

Is your business in need of some post-winter trash clean up? If so, you may benefit from a parking lot clean up service. These services utilize sweeper trucks to not only pick up trash and debris but to scrub away the grime and grease left behind from the past few months. How can parking lot sweeping services help? Here are three advantages you can see when you get parking lot cleaners to help with your property’s spring cleaning.

1. No more trash:
It’s easy for trash to get left in the snow and ice for months, only to resurface once everything has melted away. Additionally, you may have some leaves left over from autumn hanging out in gutters and around storm drains, so it’s important to get those cleared away, as well. The reason is simple: a sewer full of trash and debris can overflow, spilling contaminated water into the parking lot and causing flooding during a rain storm. If you’re interested in keeping yourself and your customers safe, then a parking lot clean up service is the best solution.

2. A goodbye to germs:
Just as a storm drain can get clogged with debris, a parking lot is also prime breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and other contaminants. Melting snow, especially, is responsible for this runoff pollution, which can end up on roadways, bridges, parking lots, and other impermeable surfaces, causing germs to spread easily. Other pollutants can also cause harm to humans and animals alike. Parking lots with heavy traffic see a lot of oil, gasoline, heavy metals, and other substances, all of which can cause significant damage to the pavement, as well. To keep everyone safe and healthy, regular parking lot clean up is recommended.

3. Happy customers:
No one wants to step through slush and sewer runoff to get their shopping done. However, when you regularly clean your parking lot, you can ensure that your customers stay safe and satisfied. Additionally, nothing boosts morale at work like coming to a clean and well-maintained location, so it’s good for you and your employees, too.

Ask today about how your business can get the spring cleaning it deserves!

Three Ways You Can Create an Awesome Business Sign!

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custom signIt shouldn’t have to be said, but it bears repeating: good business signs are good for business. Whether you want a simple, small business sign for your storefront, or an eye catching, LED display sign, the sign design needs to be on point.

Here are a few tips that can help you create excellent looking business signs, even if you’re not graphically inclined.

The Color Scheme.
Color theory is crucial for a good sign. Some colors work as well as peanut butter and jelly, while others pair like orange juice and milk. The background color needs to complement the typeface color (or colors; though it’s usually best to stick to only two colors, you can certainly use three if need be). It’s best to make the background the more muted color, and the font the brighter one. When deciding on color choices, stick with combinations like orange and blue, yellow and purple, or black and white.

The Height.
The bigger your sign, the more people will see it. It’s that simple. That being said, you also have a limited amount of room to work with, and can’t use it all for your custom sign. Though the height doesn’t have much to do with the actual graphic, it’s still an important consideration you need to make.

The Content.
Your sign’s content needs to be balanced. If there’s too much, it’s going to be too busy, and no one is even going to bother skimming it. If there’s not enough, people are going to walk away confused, or without enough information. A good business sign should have your company’s name and logo appropriately juxtaposed, and also have the contact info listed, if possible.

Whether you want to create some simple signs advertising a sale, or bright, LED business signs announcing your store’s existence, you need to put some time and effort into the design. Otherwise, you may turn customers away instead of turning their heads.

If you have any questions about business signs, feel free to ask in the comments.