How Can You Reduce Land Degradation in Connecticut?

Man’s abusive behavior over the last 150 years has caused tremendous damage to the earth’s topsoil resulting in vast land degradation such as erosion, deforestation, waterlogging and a decline in soil fertility. Land degradation has become a critical global issue because of its harmful effects on agronomic productivity, the ecosystem, as well as its impact on food security along with the quality of everyday life. Continue reading “How Can You Reduce Land Degradation in Connecticut?”

the art of Geocaching

ย Who would have thought that marrying technology with recreation would result in a game so adventurous and full of fun? The way finding technique maybe a new one, but the idea is as old as probably the advent man himself. Geocaching is an entertainment method that makes use of the accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the easy availability of devices which carry this system. With a basic smart phone or a positioning device, today anyone has access to global positioning accuracy up to ten meters.

Several websites, both paid and unpaid offer various geocaches all over the globe which people can log on to and choose. These have varying difficulties from beginners to expert players. Real time communication can happen between geocacher and people searching for geocaches via internet where they can share geographic coordinates, clues, pictures and other information.

Here are few Geocatching websites to visit:

Geocaches are often boxes buried into ground containing a notebook to log in when the geocache is discovered in addition to everyday objects to swap when seekers find it. This game can be played by friends, families and even solo adventurists. The primary website portal for geocaching is which as per July 2007 said it listed 422,892 active geocaches worldwide. This fun way of discovering and way finding is here to stay and only to get more popular.


Webb, Robert M. (2001) Recreational Geocaching: The Southeast Queensland Experience. In 2001 – A Spatial Odyssey- Australian Surveying Congress – Brisbane September 2001., September 2001, Brisbane Convention Centre.,. “What Is Geocaching (GPS Stash Hunting)? – Definition From Whatis.Com”. N.p., 2016. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.,. “Geocaching And Learning”. N.p., 2016. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.

Surveyor Spotlight: Steve Strinie Radio

steve-1Ever wonder what Steve Strinie does in his spare time? Probably not, but you may have heard him on the radio without even knowing it!

Steve has long had a tradition of hosting a show Sunday evenings on WFCS Radio 107.7. He plays a wide array of artists, but generally classic rock and blues rock. His favorite group is “Moody Blues”, so you’ll be sure to hear a song or two from them on a regular basis.

record-336626_640True to the music of his era, every song is played from the “Vast Vinyl Library”.

You can view Steve’s playlists here.

Just Another Day On The Job

Working on a mountainside near Farmington, CT, our Hodge survey crew gets a nice view of the valley. In the foreground is our backsight prism, which we use as a point of reference for our total station. Just beyond it is an old stone chimney and the remains of a foundation for a home that has long since decayed. A goose had been nesting on the top of the chimney until moments before the photo was taken.

Continue reading “Just Another Day On The Job”

Immediate Membership Action Required

It has been brought to the attention of CALS, by our lobbyist The Reynolds Group, that the Connecticut General Assembly Finance Committee, in SB 946, has proposed repealing the exemption from the state’s sales tax on Design Professions, including land surveying services. CALS believes this could have a significant negative impact on surveying and consumers in need of survey services. We, as a group, need to respond to this immediately. CALS is asking YOU to contact you legislators to prevent this legislation from passing.

Continue reading “Immediate Membership Action Required”

Spring Showers Bring Update to

Flooding post-hurricane Sandy.For those anticipating the rainy season of Connecticut, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has recently released an updated version of their website, as part of the reforms that took place last month.

Here, you can find a detailed explanation of the amends to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act, and how they will affect you in the years to come.

Project Spotlight: Kensett Lane

6E Kensett Community 8 resized 600

Our very own Denise Halstead, PE, was hired by a developer to take an existing site of 15.87 acres, formerly the grounds of a gravel processing operation, consisting of 1.83 acres of wetlands and develop the site into an age-restricted community with a meeting center and pool. The development would have some 62 units, approximately 3,500 sf each with a garage and patio. This development would be the first new home community in Darien in more than a generation.


6I Kensett Clubhouse 2 resized 600

The plot of land was not without its challenges. The site had been overworked for 60 years and many drainage problems existed within the trunk storm sewer piping that ran throughout the entire property. A railroad and two cemeteries abutted the properties and the design be modified to appease all neighbors, regulatory agencies and the Town’s stormwater management requirements. The neighbors supported this development because the new design incorporated plans to alleviate flooding they regularly incurred during storm events.

The project required creative thinking in order to provide a home for a community that felt one with nature. One of the first improvements made was the replacement of the Town storm sewer and stormwater system. The use of underground systems combined with rain gardens and bioswales provided not just relief to the drainage concerns, but an environmentally sensitive and green infrastructure to complement the development.

6E Kensett Community 3 resized 600

The project was unanimously approved in 2009, but hit a hurdle with the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation. The project planned to re-use the existing driveway to access the site. The State denied use of the entrance because it crossed the Metro North railroad tracks, a site of multiple fatalities. The developer had to put the job on hold and determine another way to access the site. With the railroad abutting the site on the west, cemeteries on the west and north and wetlands on the east, the only access was via a neighboring street, and involved the purchase of properties to do so.

In 2010, a solution was found, and with approval from local regulatory agencies and the state, an access drive was developed off Wakemore Street. Final design work would include permitting from Metro North for a sanitary sewer crossing under the railroard tracks, as well as a State Department of Transportation permit for improvements on the nearby Hoyt Street and the realignment of their access road, Wakemore Street. The project included extensive coordination with utility companies, the Town of Darien Public Works department, and general contractor, client, sub-contractors, and other specialty consultants.

Looking Forward

Construction commenced in 2011 and is proceeding as planned. The project is a 3-year phased project, expected to be completed sometime this year in 2014. Kensett Lane Development is noted to have “filled a need for marketrate homes that are different from the single-family residences available in Darien.” Town officials stated that the development provides a long-needed option for many older, longer-term residents of Darien looking to downscale while maintaining their connectivity to the town and providing bedrooms for visiting family.

6I Kensett Clubhouse 8 resized 600

The Importance of a Proper Septic Design in CT

Designing a proper septic tank is a vital part of constructing a property that cannot access the local sewer system. In fact, the final design of a property cannot be completed until the ideal location of the septic tank has been decided upon. Doing so will help to ensure big savings on the construction and design of the septic tank.

Hiring a Civil Engineer

It is critical to hire a professional septic tank designer to survey and analyze your land before you begin constructing your new property. The professional will examine the lay of your land and perform various soil tests to establish the best area to place the septic system. During this assay process, they will also put into consideration the place you wish to position your home. Click here for a free quote for surveying and septic design from Godfrey-Hoffman & Hodge.

Steps to take following consultations with a professional septic tank designer

In certain cases, the septic tank designer will ask you to change the place where you wish to construct your home in order to ensure proper working of the septic system. This will help you to save on the investment since most septic tanks are designed to follow a downstream flow. This therefore means that gravity fed septic designs cost less than those that require pumping to work effectively. In addition, a gravity fed design has lower maintenance costs and has fewer breakable moving parts.

If a regular septic tank design will not work well for you, you can request the design specialist to provide you with alternative options at your disposal. Ensure that you clearly understand the pros and cons of each option before making a decision on which one to go for.

Septic tank zoning and codes requirements

Your septic tank design must meet the relevant zoning and codes requirements. A reputable contractor should be able to meet all these requirements. Your local civil engineering company that oversees the designing of septic tanks should approve the plan before proceeding with its installation.

Key Takeaways

  • Hire a professional septic tank designer to survey your land before undertaking any property construction
  • Ideally choose a gravity fed septic design since it cost less than one that requires pumping to work effectively
  • Understand the pros and cons of alternative septic tank designs before installing any of it
  • Your septic tank design should meet all relevant zoning and code requirements before installation