North Wind Pushes More Than 1,000 Holes on First UVOST Investigation
When the North Wind Group purchased its first UVOST in 2012, it had big plans for the new screening tool. And after logging roughly 30,000 feet of data in remote, harsh conditions, it’s ready to tell the tale.
Based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the North Wind Group specializes in environmental, engineering and construction services. Although North Wind was experienced with drilling and field screening techniques, they had no company-owned UVOST system or trained operators. Based on client requirements for an environmental site investigation using UVOST technology, North Wind quickly decided to purchase a complete system from Dakota and obtained the necessary training before heading to the remote jobsite.
The project took place on the site of a World War II era military post near Port Heiden, Alaska, located halfway down the northern side of the Alaskan peninsula. The location is accessible only by air or by sea, so North Wind packed up all of the needed equipment and supplies in a cargo plane and set out for the destination in June 2012. A smaller passenger airplane was chartered weekly to bring in supplies and provide crew rotations. North Wind also brought Dakota Technologies field scientists Steve Adamek and Tad Olsonawski to provide on-site assistance during the start of the UVOST investigation.
When the crew arrived on site, they began using the UVOST to detect multiple types of fuel, including heating oil, diesel and gasoline. Due to the volcanic terrain, the team was challenged to push the UVOST’s hammerable probe through extremely abrasive soils, pumice and other volcanic debris. Additionally, they encountered a few boulders and areas of glacial till. Despite the obstacles, North Wind was able to complete a thorough investigation. “Overall, we experienced reasonably easy drilling,” said Arden Bailey, North Wind’s on-site leader.
The project spanned several months, beginning June 18th and ending October 22nd. In the end, the crew pushed 1,365 holes and logged a total depth of nearly 30,000 feet. Furthermore, North Wind obtained samples on site to check the correlation with the UVOST results.
Bailey expressed that both North Wind and the client were satisfied with the results. “UVOST is a great tool for quickly screening a site,” he said. “We are also really happy with Dakota’s support after the sale. Their customer service has been incredibly responsive, and we’re happy they are a part of our team.”
North Wind plans to continue using the new tool in the future. Bailey said, “We already have some other projects where we anticipate using it.”
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