about peter fletcher
register for workshops
college courses
wetland workshops
soil evaluator
soil evaluator refresher
systems inspector
LSP continuing education workshops
workshop and course material
contact peter
home page

Advanced Training Workshop for Soil Evaluators

On the Job Training Workshop

#T517-0003 -- SE Training Credit Hours Awarded: 
*Site Specific with a maximum of 10TCHs

Presented by:
Peter C. Fletcher, Certified Professional Soil Scientist and Soil Evaluator

Have one of those sites that – keeps you awake at night - is controversial – professionals disagree – regulatory agencies question findings …

This workshop may help. At the request of an individual, consulting firm, organization, and/or a unit of government; a customized, real-world workshop will be designed to addresses your site specific concerns.  For controversial sites, it is recommended to invite local regulatory staff to participate.

Working independently, each participant will be required to complete a DEP Form 11 – Soil Suitability Assessment for On-Site Sewage Disposal for each deep observation hole.

  • Doing your homework (Site Information):  Prior to coming to the workshop (homework), participants will research all available reference materials for the Site (USDA-NRCS published soil survey, USGS and Massachusetts Geological Survey surficial geology report, FEMA flood Insurance Map, DEP Wetlands Conservancy Program Map, USGS Current Water Resources Conditions report, public and private water supplies, and other references that the instructor thinks are relevant to the Site).  The instructor will then lead a group discussion and review his study of the reference materials.

  • Site Walk (On-Site Review):  A site walk will be conducted at the Site noting: land-use; geologic landforms; position on the landscape; if present, walk the wetland line; investigate for past land alteration/disturbance; etc.  At this time, the instructor will discuss his concept/model (soil, geologic, groundwater) of the Site and what he expects to observe within the DOH.

  • Logging the soil/geologic conditions in the deep observation hole:  At this time, participants will work independently and log the soil/geologic conditions in the DOH.  If requested, the instructor will be available for one-on-one instruction.

  • Determination of High Groundwater Elevation:  Prior to coming to the workshop (homework), participants will research the needed information for completing a USGS (Frimpter) methodology at the Site.  At this time, a determination of high groundwater elevation will be made using: 1. the depth to observed weeping and standing in the DOH, 2. depth to soil redoximorphic features, and 3. calculation of the groundwater adjustment factor using the USGS methodology.  The instructor will then discuss the merits of the three methods for determining depth to high groundwater elevation at the Site, while taking into consideration the time of field testing.

  • Depth to pervious material:  Participants will be asked to note any unsuitable materials/layers.  They will then be asked to identify the depth of naturally occurring pervious material in the DOH.

  • Conduct a percolation test:  A percolation test will be conducted in the soil layer/layers identified as 4 feet of naturally occurring pervious material.

  • Interpretation of the Site for suitability for on-site sewage disposal:  The instructor will lead a group discussion.

It is important that everyone understand that the instructor is offering his professional interpretation of the Site and the final determination of the Site for suitability for on-site sewage disposal is by the regulatory agency responsible for the town and/or region.

Field equipment:  Participants are required to bring their own field equipment needed to log the soil conditions in a deep observation hole and to complete a DEP Form 11.  Soil shovels and augers will be provided by the instructor.

Personal health:  The field exercises for this workshop are strenuous and require participants to traverse rough terrain, walk long distances, and dig test holes using shovels and augers.  Each participant needs to evaluate their own health and physical conditioning before registering for this workshop.

Training credit hours awarded:  The number of training credit hours awarded for this workshop is determined by the time spent researching materials prior to coming to the workshop, plus the time spent in the field.  Two training credit hours will be awarded for researching reference materials prior to coming to the workshop.  The credit training hours for field time will be recorded in the field using a sign in sheet.  This workshop is approved for up to 10 TCHs.

Field Investigations:  The person/firm/organization sponsoring this workshop is responsible for scheduling the excavation of the Deep Observation Holes and all costs incurred.

Weather Conditions:  Participants should come properly dressed for the field and wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.  If the weather conditions are considered unsuitable for conducting field work, participants will be notified via the Internet and the workshop will be rescheduled.
Attendance:  All participants are required to be present at all times during the workshop.  Attendance will be taken at the start and close of the workshop. 

Limited Enrollment:  To allow for small group instruction/discussion, enrollment for this workshop is limited to 5 participants.

Certificate of Completion:  A Certificate will be awarded to each participant who successfully completes the workshop.  Participants should keep the Certificate in a safe place as it may be needed by NEIWPCC to verify attendance at the workshop.

Lost Certificate Policy:  There will be a $50 fee for researching records and the reissue of a Certificate of Completion.  The request and the fee must be received by mail addressed to: Peter Fletcher, PO Box 87103, South Dartmouth, MA 02748.

Peter Fletcher can be contacted at pfdigsoil@gmail.com or by phone at 744 202 5695.