Diving Surveys

Diving Surveys

The assessment of the ecological status of many sub-tidal habitats can be undertaken using a combination of grab sampling and remote sensing techniques. However, some habitats such as sub-tidal rocky areas and ecologically sensitive areas (such as seagrass beds) do not lend themselves well to this approach. This often results in a lack of data (or poor quality data e.g. from drop down videos) in ecological assessments of these environments which are often more sensitive than soft sediments to some perturbations (e.g. siltation). To obtain good quality data, it is often necessary to survey these areas using divers. Ecospan Environmental Ltd is a registered diving contractor and undertakes all diving surveys according to the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for Scientific Diving. All divers are trained to HSE part IV or equivalent and are suitably scientifically trained for the task being undertaken (usually experienced graduate marine biologists). All diving takes place using positive pressure masks (to minimise the potential risks of diving in contaminated water) and two way voice communication. It has been found that the ability of the divers to communicate to the surface support team greatly improves the quality of the data gathered as well as enabling the location of any noteworthy observations to be accurately pinpointed using dGPS. Capabilities Underwater stills and video surveys. Sediment core collection. Ecological surveys and ecological reconnaissance. Biotope mapping of sub-tidal rocky areas. Seagrass bed surveys. Macroalgae surveys. Fisheries surveys (e.g. scallops). Species abundance surveys (e.g. Sea Fans, Ross coral etc). Biota collection. Impact assessments (marine protected areas, fishing, development, dredging, effluents). Artificial substrate experiments. Installation of scientific equipment. Wide...
Hydrodynamic Modelling

Hydrodynamic Modelling

Environmental Modelling Ecospan Environmental staff have over thirty five years of experience in modelling the aquatic environment. This has included developing models for many of the UK estuaries such as the Tees BELPLUME model. In 2011 a model was developed for the Tees Estuary and Tees Bay incorporating Dabholm Gut, Billingham Beck and barrage and slalom operation. The company offers full 3-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling for estuaries, coastal areas, rivers, canals and lakes. The modelling can allow for varying tidal conditions, salinity stratification, temperature effects and the influence of winds from varying directions. Modelling work is usually supported by field data collection (Hydrographic Surveys) to provide the baseline data necessary for building the model (e.g. water depths, tidal elevations) and to provide data for subsequent model validation (e.g. tidal flow measurements, plume measurements with dye tracer and/or parameter measurements such as temperature). Applications Hydrographic modelling is an integral part of many environmental impact assessments. Typical applications include: Modelling of potential spill scenarios (e.g. for COMAH) and ecological impact assessments (e.g. MATTE) Modelling effluent discharges (e.g. for environmental permitting, IPPC) Thermal plume modelling Outfall design & initial dilution calculations DTA risk assessment Assessment of land reclamation on tidal flows and pollutant dispersion Sediment plume modelling in support of dredging operations Deposition modelling in support of aquaculture consenting Flood Risk Assessment Capabilities The modelling process is able to incorporate numerous variables to provide accurate outputs. Capabilities of modelling include: Estimation of location and extent of sediment deposition from dredging operations Prediction of tidal flows and subsequent transport and dispersion of effluent plumes Prediction of temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen Prediction of tidal...
Hydrographic Surveys

Hydrographic Surveys

Ecospan Environmental Ltd has gathered hydrographic data for projects throughout  the UK as well as abroad. We have particular expertise in near shore, estuarine and freshwater applications, and own equipment that provides us with both single-beam and multi-beam capabilities.  Ecospan have purchased the latest R2SONIC multi-beam echo-sounder (including backscatter and watercolumn) which has complimented and enhanced our hydrographic survey capabilities. Applications The resulting data is often used within dredging projects or to up-date bathymetric data in ports, harbours and estuaries, but the data is also used in-house to produce models to accurately predict the dispersion of chemicals and particulates in the environment. Hydrographic surveys are an integral part of many different projects such as: Bathymetric surveys Dredging assessments Effluent plume studies Initial dilution assessment Waterside/coastal development scoping and feasibility studies Modelling contaminant levels against EQS or other regulatory standards Environmental Impact Assessments Baseline data collection Sediment accretion and erosion assessments Ground discrimination Equipment Ecospan owns a large amount of equipment such as: SONIC 2020 multi-beam echo-sounder including backscatter and watercolumn. Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) Range of Valeport Current meters Electro-magnetic flow meters for turbulence studies Single and dual frequency echo-sounders Wide range of drogues and mini drogues (for very shallow water) Tideguage Winpro survey software Post survey mapping software (such as Surfer and GIS) Multi-parameter meters and a wide range of sampling equipment Range of boats and hovercraft from  3.5 to 7.9 m Weather station Recent projects  ...
Ecotoxicity Assessment

Ecotoxicity Assessment

Ecotoxicity Testing The Ecospan Environmental team have over 20 years of experience of completing ecotoxicity testing using a wide variety of species ranging from bacterial and algal assays through to chronic fish and invertebrate testing. Ecospan Environmental Ltd is MCerts approved by the Environment Agency to undertake all Direct Toxicity Assessment (DTA) tests with marine and freshwater species. We have extensive experience of ecotoxicity risk assessment having successfully completed such projects for a multitude of large chemical manufactures and petrochemical sites. This background provides us with the expertise to complete the Ecotoxicity assessment of production waters as required by the UK Risk Based Approach implementation programme. Testing capabilities: Freshwater Species Marine Species Algal Growth inhibition test Raphidocelis subcapitata (72 hour EC50) Skeletonema costatum (72 hour EC50) Acute invertebrate Daphnia magna (48hour LC50) Tisbe battagliai (48hour LC50) Acartia tonsa (48hour LC50) Subleathal invertebrate Crassostrea gigas Oyster Embryo development test (24 hour EC50) Chronic invertebrate Daphnia magna growth and reproduction 21 day Tisbe battagliai reproduction(EC50) Sediment reworker Corphium volutator (10 day LC50) Direct Toxicity Assessment (DTA) All complex effluent discharges to controlled waters over 10 m3 /day are required to undergo Direct Toxicity Assessment (DTA). This has been implemented by the EA and SEPA through Environmental Permitting Regulations (previously IPPC). All testing must be carried out by an MCERTS approved laboratory using designated methods. The results of these tests are used to determine the acute environmental risk associated with the discharge. Capabilities Algal growth test: Skeletonema costatum or Selenastrum costatum Invertebrate lethality test: Tisbe battagliai or Daphnia magna Oyster embryo larval development test Toxicity tracking Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) DTA environmental risk...