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Soils & Site Evaluation

For Septic Disposal Systems & Stormwater BMP's

Course Code: ES0301CA

Soil and Site Evaluation

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Date & Time

Last Held: October 3-5, 2011
9:00am - 4:30pm

Next offering tentatively planned for 2017.


Thousands of septic systems and stormwater basins malfunction for the same reason: failure to understand how water moves (or doesn’t move!) through soil. You cannot hope to design and build these structures without a down-and-dirty understanding of these soils. That’s what this hands-on course is all about.

Every day, you will spend equal time moving between lectures in the classroom to soil pits in the field, evaluating soils using your eyes, hands, and nose. You will observe, record and evaluate the site-specific soil characteristics required to write and support a complete soil log, as well as evaluate the soil and landscape data to determine design input. Most importantly, you will develop the necessary tools to determine whether a site is right – legally and practically -- for a septic system or stormwater runoff Best Management Practices (BMPs) facility.

Be prepared to leave with mud on your boots! In just three days, you will learn:

• Soil fundamentals for successful septic installation and other applications, such as wetland design and soil remediation;
• Necessary components for estimating seasonal high water tables;
• Differences between infiltration and percolation; and,
• How to be more efficient (and effective!) in choosing where to test and site BMPs and septics.

New for 2011! Why Basins Fail
Know what to look for, and how to avoid failure on your next project.

Attention Professionals:

Health Officers/Registered Environmental Health Specialists - The health and safety of the public depends on your site evaluations. Increase your efficiency in the field while earning continuing education credits towards your HO/REHS license.

Engineers and Scientists - In today's economy, you can’t afford to be wrong or slow. Using the Soil Survey (now online!) is only the first step in evaluating a site. Get fast in the field, too. With BMP requirements, knowing the soil limitations at the beginning can prevent costly design revisions down the road.


Featured Topics

Additional Featured Topics for this course:

- Determining Soil by FEEL: Soil Physical Properties, Soil Texture and the Textural Triangle
- Soils and Geology of New Jersey
- New Jersey Regulatory Requirements for Site Evaluation
- The Inner-Workings of Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs)
- County Soil Survey Reports and Web Soil Survey
- Soil Physical Properties: Soil Structure, Texture and Color
- Soil Physical Properties: Coarse Fragments and Consistence
- Permeability Testing: Where and How
- Why Soil Morphology Matters: Septic Effluent
- Soil Suitability and Safety in the Pits
- Unique Local Soil Formations
- Infiltration: What Works and What Doesn’t
- Field Determination of Mottling (Redoximorphic Features)
- Horizon Nomenclature / Restrictive Horizons
- Tips for Writing and Reviewing Soil Logs

Recommended Textbook

Munsell Soil Color Chart - $165

Since there will be extensive discussion of soil color, you are encouraged to bring a soil color chart. You may bring your own, or, if you would like to order a soil chart through our office, please check the appropriate box on the registration form and include the cost in your registration payment.


Faculty Coordinator:
Marilyn Mroz, PE, President of Cushetunk Technical Services, Inc. and former NRCS staffer, has a unique gift for soils instruction while standing nose-deep in a soil pit. She will be assisted by a team of soil scientists from around the state.

Instructional Team:
Fred Bowers, PhD, Former Section Chief, NJDEP, Operational Ground Water Permits
Ray Mueller, PhD, Professor, Environmental Studies, Richard Stockton College
Edwin Muniz, Asst. State Soil Scientist, USDA, Soil Conservation Service
Stephanie Murphy, PhD, Assistant Director, Plant Diagnostics and Soil Testing Labs, Rutgers University
Fred Schoenagel, Soil Scientist, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Ron Taylor, State Soil Scientist, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service
Kunal Patel, NJDEP, Division of Water Quality, Non-Point Pollution Control

Recertification Credits

The October 3-5, 2011 offering of this course was approved for the following credits. We will reapply for similar credits next time the course is offered, but we cannot guarantee credit approval for any future offerings.

Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). CEs for Soils & Site Evaluation for Septic Disposal Systems & Stormwater BMP's are still pending.

Certified Public Works Manager - 5 Technical, 5 Government

Home Inspectors: Pending

Landscape Architect (NJ) - Pending

New Jersey Professional Engineers -6 Continuing Professional Competency credits

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Early Registration Fee TBD  
Multi-Person Registration Fee TBD  
Registration Fee TBD  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided to you at no additional cost.

NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


GPS systems may not recognize campus addresses. Even if they take you to the correct building, they will not take you to the assigned parking lot. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use the directions we provide.


Sorry! Registration is not currently available.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled?
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Soils & Site Evaluation" or Course Code ES0301CA)
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Senior Program Coordinator: Dalynn Knigge, 848-932-7315
Administrative Assistant: Bianca Scardina, 848-932-7316

Attention U.S. Veterans

All of the courses offered by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education are approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for tuition reimbursement through the GI Bill. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.