Contact Us: Bethlehem - 610-865-4555 | Wescosville - 610-395-0971 | Kresgeville - 610-681-5233

Browse F.A.Q. Topics

Civil Engineering

  • What is a zoning ordinance?
    The regulations that stipulate the allowable land uses, lot dimensions, building sizes, and parking requirements within a municipality.
  • What is a wetland delineation?
    the process of investigating and evaluating soil, vegetation, and hydrology to determine the physical boundary of a wetland
  • What is a watershed?
    The land area from which surface run-off drains into a stream channel, lake, reservoir or other body of water, also called a drainage basin
  • What is a traffic impact study?
    An analysis conducted in an attempt to predict the impact that vehicular traffic generated by a new land development will have on the surrounding road system’s operation.
  • What is a subdivision plan?
    A drawing that shows the boundary of a parcel of land that is proposed to be separated from its parent tract. Municipal approval of the plan is required before the new lot can be created by recording the plan at the County courthouse.
  • What is a Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (S.A.L.D.O.) ?
    The rules, regulations, and procedures concerning the design and construction of roadways, utilities, landscaping, and lighting, site development plan preparation and submission requirements, and responsibilities of an applicant and the plan-reviewing bodies in a municipality.
  • What is stormwater management?
    The analysis of land cover and topography in regards to storm event runoff and the design of facilities (storm sewers, surface and underground detention basins, infiltration beds) in order to mitigate the impacts of land developments or to improve existing drainage situations.
  • What are site development plan?
    the set of drawings that provides the design information necessary to obtain a project’s municipal approval and to construct it. The set usually includes an existing feature/topographic plan, layout plan, grading/utility plan, roadway and utility profiles, construction details, landscaping and lighting plan, and the erosion control plan.
  • What is a Professional Engineer (P.E.)?
    A person who is licensed and registered by the State to engage in the practice of engineering.
  • What is a Municipal Engineer?
    A person appointed to provide engineering services to a particular municipality. These services include the review of subdivision and land development plans to verify their compliance with zoning and land development regulations, the discussion of those reviews with the municipality’s planning and governing bodies, and the design of public works projects.
  • What is a Highway Occupancy Permit (H.O.P.)?
    A H.O.P. is a permit in which permission is granted by the State’s transportation department to construct a driveway connection to, or install a utility within, a State Highway.
  • What is flood management?
    Floodwaters can be analyzed to determine the flood elevations during both pre-construction andpost-construction. Recognized impacts caused by flooding can be mitigated through the use of various techniques, including but not limited to, detention/retention, infiltration and streambank restoration.
  • What is an erosion and sediment control plan (E&S)?
    A set of drawings and a narrative designed to control the potential for erosion during construction and to prevent the discharge of sediment onto undisturbed areas, adjacent properties or receiving waterways.
  • What is an Engineer-in-Training (E.I.T.)?
    An engineer-in-training is a person who has passed a State-administered written examination of engineering fundamentals. After subsequent experience in the practice of engineering under the supervision of a professional engineer for the required number of years, this person will be eligible to sit for the professional engineer licensure examination.
  • Does my property qualify for Preferential Assessment?
    Since requirements vary from County to County regarding the Clean and Green Act., we suggest that you contact the local County Agency to obtain specific criteria for the regulating Authority. We can assist you with your land survey and any applications necessary in anticipation of entrance into the Clean and Green Act.
  • What is an NPDES Permit?
    This acronym stands for National Pollution Discharge Elimination System and pertains to the discharge of stormwater.  Depending of the nature of your proposed improvement project, you may need to obtain this permit from the State’s Department of Environmental Protection.
  • How many copies of a grading plan need to be submitted for review?
    This may vary based on municipality. Check with your KCE Project Manager.
  • What is civil engineering?
    Surveying, land subdivision and development, stormwater management, traffic operations analysis, environmental studies, and construction inspection are just some of the many facets of civil engineering.

Construction Inspection

  • Do you provide construction inspection services?
    Yes, Keystone Consulting Engineers provides a vast array of construction inspection services performed by our N.I.C.E.T. certified inspectors.
  • What is National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (N.I.C.E.T.)?
    A non-profit division of the National Society of Professional Engineers that provides training and certification for engineering technicians.

General

  • What is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D.) ?
    An internationally-recognized building certification system that rates building design, construction, operations, and maintenance in terms of the structure’s ability to maximize energy efficiency and to minimize its impact on the surrounding environment.
  • Is this Keystone Electrical Inspectors and Keystone Code Consulting?
    No. These firms can be reached at 610-866-9663.
  • Do you provide third-party electrical inspections?
    Sorry, we do not provide third-party electrical inspections.
  • Can I have KCE engineer seal an electrical plan?
    We do not provide that service. We are not an electrical engineering firm.

Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.)

  • What is Geographic Information Services (G.I.S.)?
    G.I.S. is a process in which geographically-referenced information is captured, analyzed, managed, and displayed.  Information is stored within a database for easy data management can be used for analytic purposes or the creation of cartographic maps.  This service is especially useful for municipalities wishing to map out the utilities, signs, road right-of-ways, etc. within their municipality.
  • Does KCE provide Geographic Information Services (G.I.S.)?
    Yes, Keystone Consulting Engineers can provide extensive G.I.S. mapping services to it's clients as requested.

Geologist/Geology

  • What is a Professional Geologist (P.G.)?
    A person who is licensed and registered by the State to engage in the practice of the investigation and analysis of the processes and properties of the physical Earth.
  • What is a karst area?
    A karst area is a geographic area where the land surface is formed by the dissolving of soluble bedrock. A karst region is characterized by caves, pinnacled bedrock, sinkholes, disappearing streams, closed depressions and ghost lakes.
  • What is a geotechnical & hydrogeological investigation?
    A geotechnical and hydrogeological investigation provides geotechnical and environmental investigations, including infiltration testing; wetlands delineation, water supply and geotechnical projects; sinkhole mitigation and general earthworkin Karst terrains; environmental science; hydrogeology; and groundwater modeling.
  • Does KCE provide geology/geologist services?
    Yes, Keystone Consulting Engineers has a registered geologist on staff and can provide a vast array of services related to a geologist.

Offices

  • How many employees are located at your offices?
    We have approximately the following: Bethlehem: 30, Wescosville 50, Kresgeville: 8.
  • Where is your corporate headquarters located?
    Our corporate office’s address is 2870 Emrick Boulevard, Bethlehem, PA 18020.
  • What are your hours of operation?
    8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Sewage Enforcement/Septic Design

  • What is a Sewage Enforcement Officer (S.E.O.)?
    A person trained and certified by the State who reviews wastewater disposal permit applications and sewage facility planning modules, issues permits, inspects disposal facilities during construction, and investigates facility failures.
  • What is a Host Municipality Inspector (H.M.I.)?
    A person trained and certified by the Department of Environmental Protection to inspect municipal waste landfills, resource recovery facilities, and commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in his local community.
  • How many copies of a septic design need to be submitted for review?
    This varies based on municipality. Check with your KCE Project Manager.
  • What is a Sewage Planning Module?
    Depending on the nature of your project, you may need a Sewage Planning Module approved by the Department of Environmental Protection. Each circumstance is specific and there are several ways to meet the planning requirements of the Department. It is best to ask your consultant which permit is applicable for your project.

Surveying

  • What is a topographic survey?
    A field survey conducted on a parcel of land to obtain the existing ground elevations and the locations of all above-ground features.
  • What is a Surveyor-in-Training (S.I.T.)?
    A person who has passed a State-administered written examination of land surveying fundamentals. After subsequent experience in the practice of land surveying under the supervision of a professional land surveyor for the required number of years, this person will be eligible to sit for the professional land surveyor licensure examination.
  • What is surveying?
    The practice of taking measurements in order to determine the relative position of points on the Earth and to depict them in a usable form.
  • What is a subdivision plan?
    A drawing that shows the boundary of a parcel of land that is proposed to be separated from its parent tract. Municipal approval of the plan is required before the new lot can be created by recording the plan at the County courthouse.
  • What is a Professional Land Surveyor (P.L.S.)?
    A person who is licensed and registered by the State to engage in the practice of land surveying.
  • What is a boundary survey?
    A boundary survey is a field survey conducted on a parcel of land to acquire evidence regarding the location of the parcel’s property lines. In conjunction with the fieldwork, ownership history and deed records are researched in order to prepare a plan that shows the parcel’s true perimeter.
  • What is an American Land Title Association (A.L.T.A.) Survey?
    An A.L.T.A Survey is a field survey of a parcel of land and the resulting plan prepared in accordance with the Association’s requirements.
  • How much is a property survey?
    While most property surveys involve the same tasks, the extent and complexity of those tasks can vary greatly. As every site is unique and different, please Contact Us to connect with any of our three offices and request a no-cost proposal for your particular lot.
  • Do I need a property survey to purchase a home?
    Currently in Pennsylvania, there is no requirement for a boundary survey to purchase a parcel. We strongly recommend having a survey performed to define your lot boundaries.