A Geoprobe® is a hydraulically-powered, percussion/probing machine designed specifically for use in the Environmental Industry. The first Geoprobe® brand machine was built for the Environmental Protection Agency in 1988.
Soil probing techniques can be thought of as a subcategory of what are commonly referred to as “Direct Push” techniques. Direct Push refers to tools and sensors that are “pushed” into the ground without the use of drilling to remove soil or to make a path for the tool. A Geoprobe® relies on a relatively small amount of static (vehicle) weight combined with percussion as the energy for advancement of a tool string.
Using a Geoprobe®, Safety Enviro can drive tools to obtain continuous soil cores or discrete soil samples. We can drive samplers to obtain groundwater samples or vapor samples. We can insert permanent sampling implants and air sparging points. We can drive a conductivity sensor probe to map subsurface lithology. We can install small diameter monitoring wells. In fact, the Geoprobe® has been used to perform many of these functions to depths of 100 feet (30m) or more where the geology and soil conditions are appropriate.
Geoprobe® equipment has redefined the way sites are investigated in the Environmental Industry. In many areas of the country, Geoprobe® machines and tools have displaced traditional drilling methods as the preferred mode of collecting subsurface samples. There are numerous reasons why Geoprobe® techniques have found such wide acceptance in the field. Among these reasons are the following:
- No cuttings are produced during the sampling process.
- Probing is fast: typical penetration rates are from 5 to 25 feet (2 to 8 m) per minute.
- Mobilization is quick and economical.
- The sampling process is fast; 20-40 sample locations per day.
- Probing machines are easy to operate and relatively simple to maintain.
- Probing tools create small diameter holes which minimize surface and subsurface disturbance.
- Geoprobe® machines fold compactly and store in cargo vans or truck toppers where the unit and tools can be locked and secured.
- Geoprobe® machines have lower capital costs and are more economical to operate than rotary drilling machines and the level of effort and labor required for Geoprobe operation is much less than for conventional drilling.
- Geoprobe® machines can be used to sample subsurface media including soil, groundwater, and soil gas.