- Cascade

We’ve spent a lot of time in recent blog posts discussing all things Investigation Derived Waste; what it is, the regulations involved, and the best practices for properly profiling, manifesting, transporting, and disposing it. Although it has been thoroughly covered, it can still be difficult for some to visualize exactly what an IDW project looks like from beginning to end.



In case you need a reminder, IDW (or Investigation Derived Waste) is the waste generated from drilling and site investigation activities required for determining the presence, extent, and/or nature of a site’s particular contaminant. IDW typically consists of drilling mud, drill cuttings, purge water from test borings or monitoring well development, excess sampling media, personal protective equipment (PPE), and water generated from the decontamination of tooling and sampling equipment.

For most projects we focus on the highest priority items and often neglect the ancillary matters that go along. The many priorities of a remediation/investigation project include everything from:  engineering, managing multiple vendors and subcontractors, and keeping track of complex compliance regulations with various state and federal entities. Environmental regulations concerning solid wastes, though complex and at times conflicting, tend to hold a lower priority due to the other demands of the assignment. They are, however, no less important to complete the project on time and within compliance, while balancing the potential disposal options given the variety of treatment technologies and cost associated with them.

While waste management is a relatively small part of the overall remediation/investigation project, it holds its own with the number of challenges it presents. Figuring out which regulation to follow can be daunting and sometimes unclear, when various regulations overlap. From environmental media, to solid waste, to toxic and hazardous waste, there is an intricate balance of how to properly characterize the material, while maintaining compliance and competitive pricing to drive project costs down.

Once the waste is characterized, there is an obstacle of finding the most cost-effective disposal method and vendor along with the logistics of getting the material to its destination. That’s why different organizations from around the country are turning to Cascade for our turnkey management of investigation derived waste. Here are a few examples of how we’ve helped clients in the past:


Visalia, CA

Our client required the containerization and off-site disposal for an estimated 20,000 gallons of purge/decon water.

On-site services included:

  • water filtration and discharge of 100,000 gallons of development water
  • An on-site movement of 150 tons of soil using a roll off truck.

We provided three water contaminant tanks, nine roll-off boxes, and a mobile water filtration system capable of processing 100,000 gallons for on-site discharge at three different drilling locations to 30 NTU.  By using on-site filtration our client saved significant money in what would have been off-site disposal charges. During the project, we also provided on-site roll-off, vacuum truck, and tank cleaning services.


Columbia Falls, MT

Our client requested containerization and off-site disposal for an estimated 150 tons of drill cuttings, as well as 5,000 gallons of purge/decon water, classified as CERCLA-OSR waste.

We provided three options for transportation and disposal of the soil:  

  • Option 1:  Disposal of soil in roll-off boxes to a local landfill
  • Option 2:  Disposal of soil in roll-off boxes to a CERCLA-OSR approved facility (non-local)
  • Option 3:  Disposal of soil via dump and pumps to a CERCLA-OSR approved facility.  


Bremerton, WA

Our client requested that Cascade ensure container closure, labeling, palletizing, and proper shipment of waste for off-site disposal to an approved CERCLA-OSR facility.

Over time, this site accumulated over 120 drums of soil and water that were staged in a field next to a jogging path.

Our services included:

  • profiled the soil and water drums into a CERCLA-OSR facility
  • supplied the labor and forklift to label, palletize, and load the drums onto a 53’ trailer
  • Material was loaded off-site in its entirety over the course of three separate pick-ups

Turnkey IDW Management from Cascade Environmental

There’s no need to worry about IDW management. Yes, there are a lot of regulations, standards, and practices that you must keep pace with, but if you partner with Cascade Environmental for your particular drilling or remediation project, you can rest assured that the entire IDW management process is taken care of, from beginning to end.

Since the beginning of the IDW group, one of our goals has been to streamline the complicated process into one that is easy to follow and to save you the time and headaches of dealing with it. We have tailored our program to start with a one page form specific to the investigation derived wastes and eliminate the questions that do not apply. Every project is accompanied with a brief description of the process including timelines and contact information for the project manager.

We pride ourselves on customer service and keeping the customer informed on the project status, thus allowing them to focus on other important tasks.  Our understanding of the regulations comes from decades of experience in managing waste disposal facilities and dealing with the complexities of the environmental regulations, while prioritizing safety, compliance, and profitability. The best part is that we understand the rules well enough to be able to explain and guide you through them every step of the way. We have developed a vast network of waste vendors and connections through decades of experience. Our specialized knowledge allows us to walk this complex maze of vendor requirements and each of their idiosyncrasies to efficiently manage your waste and save hassle, money, and time.

At Cascade, we understand the importance of staying on budget, which is why we negotiate rates on a national level to leverage extremely competitive pricing for our clients using the most efficient and cost effective vendor network for that region that is being serviced. From equipment to transportation and disposal technology, we find the best solutions, while paying attention to what works best for you. We listen. We work with you.  Let us do the heavy lifting for you to save you time, money and potentially a few headaches along the way.


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