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What does April 17, 2018, mean to you?

Dec 13, 2016

To hundreds of coal power-plant facilities across the United States, 4/17/18 is D-Day.  The EPA published its final rules (April 17, 2015) governing the disposal of coal combustion residuals produced by electric utilities. Where these impoundments are no longer in use, the rules provide a somewhat less strict set of requirements.

In order to take advantage of the special rules applicable to inactive Coal Combustion Residuals surface impoundments, the final closure must be completed by April 17, 2018. There are no extensions available under the rule. Utilities across the United States need to take steps to comply with these new rules to include developing closure plans for inactive ash impoundment sites to meet this deadline.

At some point, there will be a stampede to meet these requirements.  Aqua Survey stands ready to provide the required surveying, sampling, testing and monitoring of these ash impoundments throughout the United States.  Tom Dolce, Vice President at Aqua Survey observed “Our diverse fleet of vessels, geophysical surveying electronics and coring tools are the perfect toolset to gather the necessary data critical to these kinds of projects’ success.  It’s like we’ve spent the last 40-something years unknowingly preparing just for this.”

Over the years, Aqua Survey’s teams have become extremely efficient at safely mobilizing vessels in and out of hard-to-reach water bodies.  When asked what makes Aqua Survey the perfect team member for this kind of work, Aqua Survey founder Ken Hayes stated, “You can never say you’ve seen it all, but we’ve successfully deployed vessels at a number of unique and challenging locations … from your run-of-the-mill boat launches and crane deployments to areas so remote, vessels had to be trucked in and assembled on-site.  We’re not shrinking violets when it comes to difficult work conditions and challenging projects.”

Dr. Jon Doi, Executive Vice President/Co-Owner of Aqua Survey, added, “Super Storm Sandy put us to the test back in 2013. We were able to survey hundreds and hundreds of debris-strewn waterways and collected over 2,900 sediment cores in less than a month.  Now is the time to avoid the stampede.”

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Priceless Art, Old Cowhides & Mud

Apr 13, 2016

Above: Former “Brownfields Site” – Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

About 20 years ago, we had a delicate job to do: Carry in our vibracoring equipment and sampling platform past centuries old Japanese statues and then collect sediment cores amongst priceless snow lanterns in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden.

Having been an ash dump throughout the 1800’s, this unsightly moonscape had been repurposed in 1914 into the oldest Japanese-style garden in the United States.  Unwittingly, the ash dump had become one of New York City’s earliest environmental success stories.

The job had one more special requirement: eighty years earlier cowhide had been used as the liner for the pond.  It was essential we did not core through this antique pond liner and possibly drain the pond.

We are happy to report the sampling job was completed without damaging any art treasures and/or puncturing the pond’s liner.  Whether in New York City or halfway around the world, many of our sediment vibracoring projects require us to come up with unique sampling solutions.

Aqua Survey was founded in 1975 specifically to collect water and sediment samples and over forty years later we still are.  Our staff collectively has hundreds of years’ experience in getting our clients the samples they need—safely, professionally, on time and on budget.

Questions about sediment sampling?

Call Aqua Survey today. 


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Dec 22, 2015

Follow an active criminal investigation as it happens in real time.  Premieres January 5th.

View sneak peak here.

Key evidence is missing and a possible killer is on the loose.  What happens when you pit geophysical wit against the mind of a killer?  Due to an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement, we can’t tell you how that ended up, but trust me, sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

Aqua Survey was recently involved in Season 1 of a new Discovery Channel series.  Called the “Killing Fields,” the show will explore seemingly idyllic locations across the country where bodies are dumped and criminal evidence hidden.  Hired to utilize the latest advancements in geophysical tools, Aqua Survey sent an eight person team to forensically investigate several areas associated with high-profile cold case murders.

If serial killers, pschopaths and diving in alligator-infested water weren’t enough, while staying at a hotel near a crime scene there was an attempted murder in the room next door to one of our staff.  We’d like to commend Captain Mark Padover, who when awakened by gunfire, bravely responded to a woman’s 2:30 AM pained wail for help.  Mark may have very well saved her from bleeding to death.

“Killing Fields” premiere’s Tuesday, January 5 at 10/9c PM on the Discovery Channel.  It is produced by Sirens Media LLC, a Leftfield Entertainment company. We will let you know more details when we can.

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Marine Geophysics Team One Comes Home

Aug 26, 2015

Our Marine Geophysics Team One (MGTO) has just returned from a several month deployment.  One of their specialties is using our high-powered electromagnetic metal detection system ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle).  We use advanced geophysics to locate dumped, abandoned, secreted, lost and sometimes forgotten metal objects such as:

Treasure (Spanish Galleons along Florida’s Treasure Coast),
Weapons (Amityville top-brake 38) and
UXO (unexploded bombs in the Caspian Sea),
Autos (Passaic River, NJ). 

Using one of our ROV geophysics platforms allows us to survey large areas without leaving a human footprint behind among delicate corals or in toxic sediment. 

For more information on how one of our ROV systems can support your project, please .  Hayes will be happy to guide you to the correct survey solution to meet your projects safety and survey goals.

View the video here.”>

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The Lunch and Learn Season is upon us.

Aug 06, 2015

ASI’s last Lunch & Learn Tour took us to dozens of clients nationally.  The positive feedback made the thousands of miles worthwhile.

This year we are offering a new collection of short videos that will show you what we have been up to for the past year.  As always, we will buy pizza for your team.  During our last tour season we were not able to visit with all of the folks who requested one.  To try to better manage our Lunch & Learn Tour calendar and content we are asking you to:

Request a few different weeks between October and March that would work for your team.  (Some dates are available before October. Please inquire for availability.)
Let us know which of the following services we offer you would like us to cover:

Underwater UXO (bomb) Surveying
Terrestrial UXO Surveying
Underwater Treasure Surveying
The use of Geophysical Surveying in Crime Scene Investigations
Drone Site inspection and Videography
Marine/Aquatic Geophysical Surveying
Airborne Geophysical Surveying
Sediment and Water Column Sampling
Sediment Ocean Disposal Toxicological Studies
Sediment Upland Disposal Contaminant Studies
Sediment, Water Column and Product Toxicological Studies
Screening Potable Water for Weapons of Mass Destruction Contaminants
NCP Oil Spill Control and GLP Product Testing
ASI Humanitarian Projects

We look forward to sharing a slice of what we enjoy doing here at Aqua Survey with you and listening to what your needs are.

Thank you,

Ken Hayes

Aqua Survey, Inc.

If you’d like a Lunch and Learn before October, we have few dates open.  Contact us for more information.

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‘Living Breakwaters’ Storm Barrier Project Taking Shape

Apr 30, 2015

It’s not every day that you get invited to be an on-camera participant at a media event.

Aqua Survey’s president, Ken Hayes, was invited to talk about what his company is doing to help their client Hill International make Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Living Breakwaters on Staten Island (New York City) a reality.  Utilizing a 60 million dollar design budget, the goal of this project is to reduce wave action and coastal erosion along the island’s shoreline in the Tottenville section, while enhancing ecosystems and shoreline use and access.  Using a multilayered approach the project will address the most damaging effects of coastal flooding, improve aquatic biodiversity and engage the community through educational programs.

Aqua Survey will be providing sediment sampling and geophysical surveys for the project. Hayes, who just finished a three month Lunch & Learn Tour around the country, found it easier than normal to find the right words to explain Aqua Survey’s technical contribution to this life-saving project.  Hayes spoke to NY1 News while an ASI field team took sediment samples offshore.  The news team caught up with ASI’s boat crew to get a close-up look at their specialty vessel, sediment sampling equipment and geophysical survey tools.

“It was a pleasure and an honor to participate in today’s media event,” said Hayes, “the Living Breakwaters is an innovative project with some truly admirable goals. I’d like to thank Hill International and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery for including us in the day’s events.”

Click here for the NY1 News video.

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Bombs in New York Harbor

Nov 20, 2014

Side Scan Sonar Unit

There is a lot of discussion as to whether New York City should dredge in Gravesend Bay, just south of where Aqua Survey documented the presence of a huge pile of unexploded ordnance (UXO). The UXO is right under the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Dredging needs to be performed to provide access to a proposed waste transfer station in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

We used Side Scan Sonar to define the UXO piles near the Verrazano Bridge.  Most believe the munitions came from a barge that broke loose from the aircraft carrier USS Bennington on March 4, 1954, more than five years before construction of the Verrazano-Narrows began.  The barge was reported to have lost 14,470 live rounds. 

It’s not the city’s only recent UXO discovery.  In 2012, a large, and potentially explosive, Rodman cannonball was found by construction workers during the revitalization of the Governor’s Island ferry terminal.  Aqua Survey was contracted to perform both landside and underwater surveys to lower the probability of construction activities accidentally detonating munitions. No additional cannonballs or other ordnance were found.

New York City is not alone. In 2008, dredging activities in the Miami River recovered several unexploded ordnance. 

Submerged, unexploded munitions are present in most countries.  Whether you are building a bridge in Cambodia, performing beach renourishment in Delaware or dredging in New York Harbor, UXO can pose a potential threat. Responsible parties are forced to decide what the proper risk mitigation measures are.  With new aquatic and land survey methods available, parties are able to make more informed choices.

You want to dredge or perform construction activities. How do you know if you have a potential UXO problem? First, research the history of your work site and surrounding areas.  If there is a history, or suspected history, of UXO at your site or nearby, it is advisable to perform a Side Scan Survey to look for UXO on or partially embedded in the bottom.  If you can identify UXO by Side Scan, you know you have a contaminated site.  However, if no UXO are identified with Side Scan, you would then use an Electromagnetic Induction Metal Detection (EM) system to identify ferrous and non-ferrous objects buried in the sediments. 

Always remember, no matter how diligent you are in performing historical research and using geophysical tools, there is always the possibility UXO that are present were not detected. The purpose of performing historical research and geophysical surveying is to greatly reduce the probability of detonating ordnance or inadvertently moving it to another location.

If you feel you may have UXO issues, please contact Ken Hayes at or call us at our main number 908-788-8700.

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