• Infiltration Best Management Practices (BMPs)

    By: Triad Engineering

    Infiltration BMPs use temporary surface or underground storage to allow incoming stormwater runoff to infiltrate into underlying soils. The goal of infiltration BMPs is to capture post construction stormwater runoff and allow the water to be spread out, infiltrate natural soils, and allow for positive overflow that discharges excess volume in a non-erosive manner.

    Because infiltration BMPs have a very high runoff volume reduction capability, they typically require less space than other BMPs, which makes them well suited for projects with a relatively small impervious (gravel, highly compacted, paved) drainage area.

    There are numerous BMPs to choose from for structural and non-structural BMPs. Triad is able to plan, design, and permit infiltration BMPs for your land development project, whether it is required by local regulation or needed due to property restraints. We are able to plan early for your BMP by completing infiltration testing and site assessments. Infiltration testing should be conducted during the wet season (January to June) so contact us today to start planning for your project.


  • Linear Project Routing & Slip Prevention

    By: Triad Engineering

    By: Ben Campbell, PE and Carol Phillips, Senior Scientist 

    Selecting a right of way (ROW) for linear projects such as highways and pipelines is a complex and important part of your project. Routing linear projects must take into consideration numerous factors including land use, landowner constraints, buffer zones, ecological & cultural resources, project size, project type, and method of construction. Post construction slips result in costly and timely permitting, construction, and geotechnical issues. Slips are typically on steep slopes and side cuts and are generally caused by saturation from weather, saturation from damaged drainage patterns, soil compaction, and vegetation with shallow root systems and poor cover. Some typical causes of slips include:

    1. Construction in poor soil types and fragile slopes
    2. Groundwater pressure acting to destabilize the slope
    3. Loss of vegetation, soil nutrients, and soil structure
    4. Erosion of the toe of a slope by waterbodies
    5. Weakening of a slope through saturation by precipitation
    6. Weakening of a slope due to improper drainage
    7. Deforestation and removal of deep-rooted vegetation
    8. Earthwork that alters the shape of a slope or imposes new loads on a slope
    9. Construction that changes the amount of water that infiltrates the soil

    Triad can assist in ROW selection and routing of linear projects to reduce and avoid landslide prone areas, which may reduce the risk for slips post construction. Due to the location and nature of our work, geohazards such as poor soils and steep slopes cannot always be avoided. Because of this, we can identify areas with high risk potential and plan for them during the routing process. Our team utilizes our combined knowledge of regional geology, ROW planning, engineering design, site restoration, and construction oversight to limit the risk of slips on linear projects. We excel at linear project planning and follow through to construction completion.

    For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our professionals, contact Morgantown@triadeng.com or 304-296-2562.


  • RAMP SEASON IN APPALACHIA

    By: Triad Engineering

    By: Carol Phillips
    Senior Scientist at Triad Engineering, Inc. 

    April in Appalachia is amazing for many reasons, but a West Virginia favorite is ramp harvesting. Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are a West Virginia delicacy and are often cooked with fried potatoes or scrambled eggs. Festivals, fairs, and local restaurants hold celebrations in honor of WV ramp season.

    Ramps are often found on slopes in rich, moist forests and are extremely hard to cultivate. Due to this, ramps are often harvested from their naturally occurring locations. Just like all wild plant harvesting, conservation and best management practices are vital to continued enjoyment.

    Ramps are at risk of losing entire populations due to over harvest. To harvest ramps responsibly, follow these 3 easy steps:

    1. Gently pull back the dirt from around the bulb, being careful to leave the roots in the ground.
    2. Pull back just enough dirt to expose a little bit of the bulb so you can see where to put your knife.
    3. Then re-cover the roots with dirt and leave them to grow next year.

    Ramps (Allium tricoccum) are a spring perennial plant of the Liliaceae family and are a type of wild leek. Ramps are native to the deciduous temperate forests in the eastern Appalachian Mountains and are the first green plants to sprout in rich, moist, shady woods from late March to early May.  Full bloom occurs in late June. Seed heads ripen and disseminate seeds from October through November. Seed production is often limited; however, this species is capable of multiplying its bulbs through asexual budding, often creating dense colonies. The scientific name indicates that it is a vegetable (Allium, e.g., onions & garlic) which produces three seeds (tricoccum). Ramps are a bulb-forming plant with green leaves, white bulbs, and purple or unpigmented stems depending on the variety. There are two varieties of ramps: variety tricoccum and  variety burdickii. The triccocum variety is dominant in the southern Appalachian Mountains and has a purple stem and larger leaves than the burdickii variety. The burdickii variety is more common in the northern mountains and has narrower leaves with an unpigmented stem.

    Ramps are legal to harvest in West Virginia, but some states (including Maine, Rhode Island, & Tennessee) have listed ramps as a species of Special Concern and other states (including New York and Tennessee) have listed ramps as endangered or threatened.

    Triad completes botanical surveys, as well as other biological/forestry surveys and delineations. Our staff is available to assist with your project and coordinate with the USFWS and local state agencies on impacts to botanical resources.


  • Soil Classification: Why is it Important?

    By: Triad Engineering

    By: Tyler Hampton, EI
    Staff Engineer | Triad Engineering, Inc.

    Generally, soils are formed by the mechanical or chemical weathering of rocks and are primarily defined by their particle size and mineral content.   Soils that are located at the place they were formed are referred to as residual, whereas soils that have been transported elsewhere can fall under several different groups.  How do soils end up elsewhere? They can move with the help of glaciers, streams, lakes, seas, wind or by landslides.

    There is a system called the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) that classifies soil by grain size.  Granular soil is made up of gravels and sands.  Gravels are particles of rock that are greater than 4.75 mm.  Sands are particles that fall between 4.75 and 0.075 mm.  Fines are defined as soils that are less than 0.075 mm and are made up of Silt and Clay.

    Silts are a mixture between grains and flake shaped minerals.  Clays are mostly flake shaped minerals that bond together with the introduction of water.  Cohesion is the common attraction between the particles that holds onto moisture and gives the soil strength.  The mineral type and water content in fines cause them to develop low to high plasticity (the higher the plasticity, the more like putty it becomes).

    The purpose of a soil classification from an engineering standpoint is to determine properties such as permeability, shear strength and compressionability.  Soil classification allows engineers to determine its potential behavior. Structures, roadways, bridges, and other developments must be built on soil suitable for its needs.


  • Safety Spotlight: April

    By: Vanessa Ervin

    Triad’s Safety Employee of the Month for April is Cheryl Summers!

    Triad’s Safety Employee of the Month for April is Cheryl Summers! Cheryl is the Administrative Assistant in the Morgantown, West Virginia office. Throughout the COVID-19 situation, Cheryl has provided assistance to staff transitioning to work-from-home to help the Morgantown office safely maintain efficiency and stay connected. Within the office she has also been instrumental in making the office a clean, organized and safe environment during this time. Thank you, Cheryl, for making safety the top priority!