Pool Permits! – Do you have an update?

Pool Permits! – Do you have an update?

Do you have a pool permit with us? We know that the design and permitting process can be long and arduous, so we here at DL Howell are here to help! That is why we have created a Project Pipeline.
What does this mean for our clients? More updates! It will allow our clients real-time updates on when different aspects of their project are complete.

How does it work? Well, your project engineer or survey manager marks which aspect of your project is complete, and we will automatically send you an email letting you know what part of your project is complete! Do you need a pool permit done? If so, feel free to contact us, and we will be more than happy to help!



In life, everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes have bigger consequences than others, but in the profession of land surveying, mistakes are almost always costly. One miscalculation or blunder can turn a simple construction or building project into a financial nightmare.

A land survey should be one of the first steps for any type of land development or construction project. Contractors, homeowners, engineers, and architects all rely on the findings of the land surveyor to accurately establish property lines, locate onsite infrastructure, and determine the slope and topography of the land. An experienced surveyor should also review important documents relating to the rights of a property, such as easements, wetlands, and flood zones. These entities are usually depicted on a plan and delivered to clients to show any obstructions or limitations of a piece of land.

When surveyors make errors on a plan or in the field, they can have serious ramifications and may result in the loss of time and money. Common and costly mistakes such as transposing numbers, misplaced decimal points, equipment malfunctions, miscalculation of property lines can result in fences installed on neighboring properties, structures erected in the wrong spot, and storm structures built at the wrong elevation. These errors typically arise from three sources: natural errors, instrument errors, and human errors.

Natural Errors – Caused by environmental conditions such as wind speed, air temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, and curvature of the earth, which can be corrected by systematic maintenance.
Instrument Errors – Caused by imperfectly constructed, adjusted, or calibrated surveying equipment, which can be corrected by systematic maintenance.
Human Error – Caused by physical limitations and inconsistent setup or observation habits of a surveyor, which sometimes never get corrected with systematic maintenance.

Those purchasing properties or looking to develop land rely on a land survey to make the best financial decisions. The result of hiring an inferior company, solely based on price, reminds me of something my mother would always say: “You get what you pay for.” Instead, you should use a reputable firm that has your best interest at heart. At Howell Kline Surveying, our greatest resource is having experienced professionals, who have seen it all, and have dedicated their lives to delivering high caliber work. Howell Kline Surveying prides itself on using the latest equipment and technology, along with our licensed surveyors’ invaluable experience, to deliver accurate surveys to all of our clients.

Delaware County Vs. Chester County

Delaware County Vs. Chester County

Delaware County sits just West of Philadelphia, with Chester County right next door. Even though Delaware County is directly next to Chester County, they are different in a lot of ways. If you take a drive from Center City Philadelphia to West Chester, you will notice that the landscape gradually changes as you get farther away from the city. Land use becomes less intense, there is more open space and all the infrastructure seems to have been built more recently than if you were to be heading the opposite direction. One could even argue that stormwater drains more efficiently.


Delaware County encompasses approximately 49 Municipalities, which consist of 21 Townships, 27 Boroughs, and 1 City. The county is bordered by the Delaware River/Gloucester County (New Jersey) to the Southeast, Philadelphia County to the Northeast, Montgomery County to the North, and Chester County to the West. Some of the Municipalities that are contained within the county are Chadds Ford Township, Media Borough, and Upper Darby Township, to name a few. Delaware County is 191 Square Miles in size, has a population of 565,000, and a median household income of $72,000. There are nine major watersheds, with six of them being classified as WWF (Warm Water Fishes) streams, two classified as TSF (Trout Stocking Fishery), and one classified as HQ (High Quality), which is Ridley Creek.


Chester County encompasses approximately 73 Municipalities, which consist of 57 Townships, 15 Boroughs, and 1 City. The county is bordered by Berks County to the North, Montgomery County the Northeast, Delaware County to the East, New Castle County (Delaware) to the South, Cecil County (Maryland) to the Southwest, and Lancaster County to the West. Some of the Municipalities that are contained within the county are Willistown Township, West Chester Borough, and the City of Coatesville. Chester County is 759 Square Miles in size, has a population of 525,000, and a median household income of $99,000. There are twenty-three major watersheds, with ten of them classified as WWF (Warm Water Fishes) streams, two classified as CWF (Cold Water Fishes), one classified as TSF (Trout Stocking Fishery), eight classified as HQ (High Quality), and two classified as EV (Exceptional Value), which are French Creek and Valley Creek.


One thing I have found interesting is that there are fewer civil engineering firms in Delaware County than Chester County. There are a couple of small firms here and there, but most of them are municipal engineers that review plans. My thoughts on this are that since Delaware County is closer to the City, it has been developed more heavily over time, ultimately meaning that there is less land to build on, and therefore less engineering design work is occurring in that area.
Why do you think that there are more High Quality/Exceptional Value streams located in Chester County? I think it is probably due to a variety of factors – with the rural character and size of Chester County being two of them, but due to Delaware County being closer to Philadelphia, a large part of it was developed before construction really started to take off in Chester County. When these areas in Delaware County were developed, the municipal regulations were probably less strict. Now that the municipalities have had time to catch up, their ordinances have grown over time, and their standards have become more specific in regards to stormwater management, impervious coverages and the like, which have been put in place to protect water quality.

In its simplest form, engineering is development, whether it be manufacturing a car with high fuel efficiency, building a bridge, or constructing a commercial building. Since there is less open space to build on in Delaware County, there isn’t as high of a demand for civil engineering services compared to Chester County, which is more so on the fringe of the urban sprawl.

You can tie this thought process into the median household incomes listed above for the two counties, as Chester County is at $99,000, with Delaware County coming in significantly lower at $72,000. I believe that because there is more work to be done on the fringe of the urban sprawl, Chester County has become an epicenter of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s economy and that is why there is a higher median household income there.
Now, I am not saying that there isn’t a need to maintain the infrastructure in Delaware County, or there isn’t a need for other types of engineers to keep our wastewater plants, etc. up and running, but I think that in general, my statements do hold some weight in the civil engineering industry, and I’m sure in other industries as well based on how busy West Chester Pike is every morning.


The Effect of Covid-19 on the Environment

The Effect of Covid-19 on the Environment

Most people can agree that Covid-19 has been nothing but a thorn in many people’s sides. While it may have been nice in the beginning to work from home, many have come to realize that being stuck inside with your family all day every day gets old fast. One positive outcome of staying/working from home, however, is the effect it has had on the environment.

One noticeable impact is the reduction of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) across the globe. This kind of emission is typically generated through trucks, busses, & power generation facilities. It is known to produce respiratory problems in higher concentrations, form acid rain when in the atmosphere and contribute the haze that can be seen from a distance around cities. While this is great right now, it may only be temporary as once a viable vaccine is distributed, everything will be back in full gear and most of this pollutant is produced by public transportation, shipping goods, and power generation. To prevent this rebound or limit its extent, we would need to employ greener transportation and power generation.

Another impact has been on our waterways, beaches, and parks. With the reduction in trade and travel, there has been a significant reduction in the water’s turbidity and the amount of discarded trash. For instance, in Venice, the typically cloudy waters are now crystal clear, and wildlife is returning to the areas where there was once heavy traffic. Popular beaches such as those in Acapulco or Barcelona now have water that is crystal clear as well.

While the stay at home orders have done wonders for reducing pollution, they have also greatly impacted the global economy. Many are out of work, and some companies have begun to look towards working remotely for the long term. Some of these companies include Amazon, Adobe, and Capital One, to name a few. Hopefully, a viable vaccine can be perfected and distributed soon so we all can return to some semblance of normalcy.


Photos by Trent L. Schindler. NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio. June 24, 2020. https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4810

You Want a Survey, But What About a Plan?

You Want a Survey, But What About a Plan?

When you contact our office to inquire about a survey, you will be asked many questions. This is because we want to ensure that we have all the information we need to take care of your land surveying needs. Every survey is unique, and the more information you can provide, the better we can tailor the survey to meet your needs. We have been at this for years, so we will work with you and guide you through the process.

Some surveys will require a plan, while other surveys will not. Although a plan is not required, it may still be beneficial. Let’s focus on one of the more common requests, which is, “I want to know where my property corners and lines are.” This can be accomplished with a field survey. First, we will collect all the necessary preliminary information to perform the survey and send out our crew to mark the corners and stake the property lines. For this type of survey, we offer a plan option that shows your property with deed bearings and distances, corners found or set, and stakes placed on the property lines. The plan, which will be signed and sealed by a licensed surveyor, will also show features on or near property lines, including encroachments. This plan can be helpful to reference later when the line stakes are no longer there, or you have an issue with your neighbor and need clarification. Sometimes a picture can say a thousand words.

Here at Howell Kline, we strive to make your experience with us as seamless as possible and deliver you comprehensive results. If you need a land survey, give us a call!

Continuing Education

Continuing Education

As summer ends and we approach the start of the fall season, the kids are back at school (at home), football is back (no fans), and the World Series is coming up quickly. Now that summer vacations are over and we fall back into a more normal routine over the next few months, it is a good time to take account of any continuing education requirements that are associated with your professional license.

In Pennsylvania, all licensed professional engineers, surveyors and geologists are required to complete 24 professional development hours (PDHs) every two years. 1 PDH is defined as “50 minutes of instruction or presentation relevant to professional practice or any equivalent.” This definition is pretty wide open as to what is considered “relevant to professional practice,” and the state board does not require any course to be preapproved, but the board does list general ways that PDHs may be earned. The PA licensing board allows for the completion of college courses, continuing education courses, workshops, or seminars, as well as teaching or presenting at such events to count towards your total. Additionally, you can author published papers/articles or obtain a patent for something relevant to your profession. Sadly, you do not get credit for authoring company blog posts or any business development type courses you may be taking.

If you are short on continuing education hours and are looking for ways to catch up, there are a number of ways to do so without publishing a research paper. Many professional organizations (such as Chester County Engineers) have monthly offerings to help keep members from falling behind on their credits. State and county regulators also often hold training seminars to educate the audience on any updated regulations, so check out those in your area. Lastly, you can also always enroll in college courses, but there are also many online vendors that you can subscribe to that allow you to complete courses virtually, just like your school students at home.