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Throughout the six decades of operation, PELA’s primary focus of expertise has been hydrogeology – the science that deals with subsurface waters and related geologic aspects of surface waters. Our staff includes hydrogeologists who have studied groundwater and surface water hydrogeology throughout the United States and a number of foreign nations. Site settings range from unconsolidated deposits to karstic environments, and complex folded and faulted carbonate rock. Understanding the hydrogeologic regime is key to various aspects of environmental projects and PELA’s hydrogeologists and other professionals have the technical expertise and are experienced in the methods and theories needed in performing such projects as:

  • Greenfield and brownfield sites
  • Environmental assessments
  • Remedial investigations and site remediation
  • Underground and above-ground storage tank programs
  • Regulatory compliance associated with facility permitting and operating
  • Regulatory compliance associated with facility closure and post-closure
  • Risk assessment
  • Natural resource evaluation and development
  • Water supply development
  • Subsidence and catastrophic collapse
  • Litigation support


The continued migration of people and businesses from urban centers to suburban and rural areas, with the resulting conversion and development of forest and farmlands to residential and commercial structures, has made watershed management more necessary and complex than ever before.

PELA’s professional staff has decades of experience collecting and analyzing stream and watershed information. This experience includes:


PELA’s project experience in water supply spans decades and the world including studies in the US, the Middle East and Far East, South America, and the African continent. Project experience includes hydrogeological methods to locate and survey existing water resources, perform pumping tests and watershed/reservoir analysis, and complete water quality evaluations.

Our staff has completed water supply projects including:

  • Consumptive use permits
  • Industrial water supply wells
  • Municipal water supply wells
  • Secondary water sources (groundwater wells) for emergency/disaster circumstances
  • Watershed studies of reservoirs
  • Consumptive use of natural springs
  • Agricultural/irrigation water supplies
  • Impacts of groundwater withdrawal
  • Litigation support and expert testimony


PELA applies one or more geophysical methods to rapidly collect data for site characterization. Geophysical techniques are noninvasive investigative tools. Investigation results are typically integrated with geologic and hydrologic data to formulate interpretation of site conditions. We employ:

Examples of application of geophysical data:

  • Identify potential water-bearing zones
  • Determine well screen interval
  • View well construction conditions
  • Correlate stratigraphy
  • Identify lithology
  • Locate karst features/sinkholes
  • Trace groundwater flow
  • Locate underground utilities
  • Locate and define buried metallics and waste limits
  • Locate seepage
  • Delineate groundwater pollution plumes
  • Map salt water intrusion
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