Ground Water at Landfills in 4 Area Cities to Be Tested

Times Staff Writer

Current and former landfills in four San Gabriel Valley cities are to begin testing for ground-water contamination as part of a mandatory program to test all landfills in the state.

Of 41 sites in Los Angeles and Ventura counties scheduled to begin testing in 1989, 5 are in Irwindale, 2 in Alhambra and 1 each in Arcadia and El Monte, state officials said.

Plans for testing at the sites must be submitted to the state in January. Test results are due by July, 1990.

The testing program, mandated by a 1986 state law, is being coordinated by the state Water Resources Board.


To Take 14-16 Years

Known as the Solid Waste Water Quality Assurance Test, or SWAT, the program is expected to take 14 to 16 years to complete. About 150 landfills will begin testing each year, said Dennis Dasker, a supervising engineer with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Landfill owners, including cities and private corporations, are given about two years to test their sites and submit results to regional water quality authorities. Those who fail to comply could face civil fines of up to $5,000 a day, Dasker said.

So far, the City of Industry has been fined $5,000, the Norwalk Dump Co. $10,000 and Compton $40,000 for failing to submit test results on time, he said. Compton is appealing its fine.


If tests show evidence of ground-water contamination, Dasker said, regulatory agencies such as regional water quality control boards and the state Department of Health Services will enforce clean-up efforts.

No Final Results

In the San Gabriel Valley, landfills operated by Azusa Western and BKK Corp. are already being tested. No final results have been obtained, Dasker said.

One of the Alhambra sites to be tested next year is the municipal golf course, which used to be the Crown City landfill operated and owned by the city of Pasadena. The landfill, near Mission Road, was sold to Alhambra in 1951.


For the next three decades, Alhambra and Pasadena both used the site to dispose of concrete, trees and other inert materials.

After being notified earlier this year of the requirement for ground-water testing, the two cities hired the engineering firm of Dwight French & Associates to prepare the test proposal the regional board wants by January. Another firm, Kleinfelder Engineering, has been hired to conduct the test itself.

The proposal and testing will cost each city $22,085, said Alhambra City Manager Kevin Murphy.

Wells at Site Closed


Drilling costs will be held down because there are already two wells on the former landfill, Murphy said. Three years ago the city shut down those wells and a third about a mile from the landfill because of chemical contamination. But he said it has not been determined whether the landfill caused the contamination.

“We certainly hope it’s not this landfill,” Murphy said. “We hope there is not a problem.”

In addition to that landfill, the city of Pasadena must test a dump it operates at 800 E. Mission Road in Alhambra.

Landfills to be tested in Irwindale include four operated by Livingston Graham Co. at 13550 Live Oak Lane and one operated by Nuway Industry at 2501 Bateman Ave.


In Arcadia, testing is required for a Livingston Graham landfill on Live Oak Lane that is half in Irwindale and half in Arcadia. El Monte must test a city-operated landfill north of the intersection of Santa Anita Avenue and Ramona Boulevard.