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Environmental Monitoring

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AT LA CITY LANDFILLS

LA Sanitation routinely monitors the environment at the city's landfills. Levels of pollutants regulated by the EPA and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board are measured in stormwater, groundwater, and leachate at the following sites: Lopez Canyon, Gaffey Street, Bishop Canyon, and Toyon Canyon. Testing includes analyses of heavy metals, volatile organics, and semivolatile organics (such as dioxin, herbicides, and pesticides), and conventional pollutants. Water samples undergo testing for total dissolved solids, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon, total organic halogens, ammonia, chloride, nitrate, sulfate, conductivity, and pH.

Compost produced at Griffith Park and Lopez Canyon are tested for fecal coliforms, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead, selenium, and zinc. Gases originating from landfills undergo testing for the amounts of methane, hydrocarbons, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, sulfides, and organic mercaptans.

Testing for environmental pollutants is conducted by LA Sanitation's Environmental Monitoring Division which is based at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey.

More about air quality at South Coast Air Quality Management District.

More about water quality at Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and GEOTRACKER.

More about Clean Water at LA Sanitation.

More about Watershed Protection at LA Sanitation.
Environmental Monitoring at LA City Landfills Image
Location Sample Type Frequency Year Closed
Lopez Canyon
  • Ground water/ Leachate
  • Air
  • Compost
  • February, August, October
  • Quarterly
  • Monthly
1996
Toyon Canyon
  • Ground water/ Leachate
  • Air 
  • March, September, October
  • Quarterly
1985
Sheldon Canyon
  • Air
  • Quarterly
1975
Bishop Canyon
  • Ground water
  • Air
  • May, November
  • Quarterly
1969
Gaffey Street
  • Ground water
  • Air
  • May, November
  • Quarterly
1963
Griffith Park
  • Compost
  • Quarterly
Active

ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS

Environmental Sampling and Analysis Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis Image
Landfill samples are extracted and concentrated in small vials during the analysis of semivolatile organic pollutants.
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 2  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 2  Image
Bishops Canyon Landfill, closed 1969. More about Landfills
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 3  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 3  Image
Compost at Lopez Canyon Landfill. More about Landfills
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 4  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 4  Image
Lopez Canyon Landfill, closed 1996. More about Landfills
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 5  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 5  Image
Laboratory analysis of landfill samples.
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 6  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 6  Image
An employee of LA Sanitation separates refuse from yard trimmings used to make compost at Lopez Canyon Landfill. More about yard trimmings, compost, and mulch
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 7  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 7  Image
Compost piles at Griffith Park. More about compost
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 8  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 8  Image
Mulch pile at Lopez Canyon. More about compost
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 9  Image
Environmental Sampling and Analysis 9  Image
Chemical analysis of Landfill air samples by LA Sanitation chemist. More about air quality at South Coast Air Quality Management District

FAQs

Q: What does LA Sanitation do to ensure garbage does not pollute our groundwater, and how often are the landfills tested for pollutants?
A: LA Sanitation monitors the pollutant levels in groundwater sampled from wells at each landfill semiannually (see table above). Groundwater testing includes analyses of heavy metals, volatile organics, semivolatile organics (such as dioxin, herbicides, and pesticides), and conventional tests, such as total dissolved solids, biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total organic carbon, total organic halogens, ammonia, chloride, nitrate, sulfate, conductivity, and pH.