Water Quality Studies


Water Quality Studies

Johnson Engineering’s water quality team of scientists, engineers and geologists has what it takes to meet our clients’ monitoring needs. Our strong working relationships with regulators and familiarity with FDEP regulations allow us to efficiently prepare and carry out successful monitoring programs. We maintain a variety of vessels and sampling equipment in-house to ensure that the needs of each project are met as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Our established working relationships with several state certified laboratories ensure that our clients benefit from efficiency without sacrificing quality. From monitoring turbidity to installing event-triggered, automated sampling systems, our team has the knowledge, experience, technology and expertise to get the job done.

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What We Provide

There are a vast number and types of water bodies throughout Florida, each with its own unique set of properties and characteristics. We can provide everything needed to create a successful water quality monitoring program. Our vast array of instruments includes multi-parameter meters, submersible data sondes, continuous recording water level dataloggers, tipping bucket rain gauges, rainfall collection systems, portable refrigerated sampling systems, Doppler flow meters, and data telemetry systems. From collecting samples for analysis to evaluating the results, our team has the knowledge, experience, technology, and expertise to meet our clients’ needs. Our established relationships with several state certified laboratories provide our clients efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Florida groundwater provides us with vital drinking and irrigation water. Water quality monitoring provides assurances that the integrity of this supply is maintained. Our experienced team specializes in designing and implementing groundwater quality monitoring programs based on a strong knowledge of water quality regulations, and a client’s particular project needs. We enjoy strong working relationships with local regulatory agencies and can expertly and efficiently carry out their monitoring requirements. From measuring conductivity to collecting samples for laboratory analysis, our team can handle the monitoring needs throughout the life of a project, allowing our clients to successfully address regulators’ concerns and manage their project’s groundwater resources in a sustainable manner.

In a state with over 2,200 miles of shoreline, Florida’s coastal waters require special attention to protect these fragile ecosystems. The estuaries along our coasts are comprised of many different habitats including mangroves, tidal flats, sea grass beds, and oyster reefs. Each of these different habitats is a vital part of the overall health and stability of our coastal waters. Our team of environmental and coastal scientists understands the complexities of these marine environments. Our monitoring experience within Outstanding Florida Waters and national estuaries strengthens our ability to meet the regulatory needs of our clients efficiently and effectively.

Our clients’ water quality monitoring needs sometimes extend beyond the actual water bodies themselves. State-issued Environmental Resource Permits (ERP) often require sediment samples to be collected from lake bottoms, in addition to traditional water quality samples, to assess deposition. Our team of scientists has assisted clients with a variety of projects including channel dredging and marina expansions. Our strong working relationships with regulators and familiarity with FDEP sediment assessment regulations allow us to efficiently carry out successful monitoring programs. We maintain a variety of vessels and sampling equipment in-house, which allow us to quickly and thoroughly meet the needs of each project.

Many of Southwest Florida’s water bodies have been listed as “impaired” by FDEP, meaning they fail to meet one or more state water quality standards. As a result, the FDEP will establish Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for those water bodies. We help our clients approach the TMDL process in a proactive manner. By developing scientifically sound water quality monitoring programs, we can evaluate the impacts of a project on the watershed basin. We then make recommendations as to how these impacts can be reduced through a variety of Best Management Practices (BMP) tailored to suit our clients’ needs.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) offer cost-sharing programs to assist clients with funding for certain types of water quality projects. Two such programs are the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Grant and the State Water-Quality Assistance Grant (SWAG). The rules governing those programs vary and require a great deal of understanding to be used effectively. Our team is familiar with the eligibility requirement for each of these funding mechanisms and can help our clients match their needs to the funding program that is best suited for their project. We can then help them to prepare a proper application that includes the parts needed to be considered for funding.

Federally funded projects often require the development of a comprehensive Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP). We have vast experience preparing and implementing these plans for clients throughout Florida. As a requirement of the Grant Work Plan, the QAPP is instrumental in explaining how monitoring and water quality sampling will be used to determine the project’s success. The sampling locations, parameters to be tested, frequency, and duration of sampling are critical components that are outlined as part of this document.

Numerous rivers, streams, and lakes throughout Florida have been labeled “impaired” based on water quality criteria for bacteria indicator organisms. However, bacteria come from many sources, which may or may not pose a serious health hazard to humans. Tracking the source of the bacteria is crucial to addressing the problem. By sampling for specific substances used by humans, along with extracting DNA from the samples to be tested and compared to the DNA from animals, birds, humans, and other known markers, we can help our clients determine the source of impairment so that they can take appropriate action.

Determining the source of pollutants in water is relatively simple if you can point to the end of a pipe where the polluted water is coming from. Unfortunately, most of the water quality issues we face today are much more complex and require sophisticated methods of testing and analysis to help evaluate the sources of pollution. Our experienced water quality scientists work in conjunction with laboratories equipped to analyze samples for a vast array of chemicals, including isotopic forms of nitrogen that can help determine sources of nutrient pollution. Proper sampling and analysis is critical to providing this non-point source evaluation.

Water Quality Projects

Water Quality Studies Team

Laura Brady Herrero, CE

Director of Water Resources & Environmental Services / Principal Ecologist

Laura joined the firm in 2000 and serves as director of the firm’s environmental consulting and water resources team, providing project management and oversight of large-scale public and private sector projects. As a principal ecologist, she continues to conduct:

  • State and Federal wetland jurisdictional determinations
  • Protected species surveys
  • Habitat and species management plans
  • Coordination and permitting with:
    • - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
    • - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
    • - FWS Biological Assessments and Biological Opinions
    • - Wetland/listed species mitigation proposals and mitigation monitoring
    • - Environmental Resource Permit and Federal Dredge and Fill applications
    • - Follow-through to permit issuance and post-permit compliance.

She is also an FWC Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent, Federal Aviation Administration Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist, and FWS qualified caracara observer with over 2,000 hours of caracara survey experience and 45 nests found to date.

Tim Denison

Environmental Scientist

Tim joined Johnson Engineering in 2003 as an environmental scientist. He currently manages water quality monitoring projects for our water resources group. Tim has developed project specific water quality monitoring programs for several of our clients including Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Lee County Natural Resources, Collier County Stormwater, Hendry County, Lee County Port Authority (LCPA), and City of Bonita Springs. His current projects involve testing best management practices (BMPs), total maximum daily load (TMDL) monitoring, stormwater runoff characterization, flow monitoring, and calculating pollutant load reductions. Tim is proficient in Florida Department of Environmental (FDEP) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for surface water/groundwater sampling, is active in the Florida Stormwater Association (FSA), and has presented project findings at a variety of stormwater conferences. He has also been published in Florida Scientist. In addition, he has completed the Environmental Site Assessment Standards for Commercial Real Estate course and has 5 years of experience providing Phase I and Phase II ESA services for our clients.

Jordan Varble, PE

Water Resources Engineer

Jordan joined Johnson Engineering in 2015 and is a Professional Engineer in the company’s Water Resources group. Jordan earned his Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University in 2011 and Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Missouri S&T in 2009. Jordan’s experience as an engineer includes regional watershed modeling, surface water design, hydraulic pipe modeling, Class I deep injection wells, construction inspection, well design, regulatory permitting, technical report writing and engineering due diligence. He currently manages engineering projects relating to water resources, bringing projects from conceptual ideas to physical reality.

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