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Contaminants Reach Water Off BKK Site

October 24, 1985|MIKE WARD | Times Staff Writer

WEST COVINA — Underground water contaminated with volatile organic compounds has been found beneath a residential neighborhood south of the BKK landfill in what regulatory authorities describe as the first evidence of polluted water leaving the dump.

Authorities said they are confident the contaminated water can be removed and poses little, if any, danger to the area's drinking water supplies.

Ray Delacourt, senior engineer with the regional water quality control board, said the probable source of the contamination has already been identified and eliminated.

He said the contaminants apparently came from condensation in pipes that extract methane gas from the dump for incineration. Delacourt said dump operators formerly allowed the liquid to drain into a sump and percolate into the ground. There was nothing wrong with that practice, Delacourt said, as long as the dump was thought to be capable of containing hazardous waste.

But last year BKK stopped accepting hazardous waste after questions were raised about the site's ability to contain it. And, Delacourt said, a monitoring well drilled in the southeast corner of the landfill early last year showed heavy contamination from organic compounds.

He said BKK altered its methane collection system more than a year ago to drain the condensation into tanks. That should solve the problem in the future, he said, but some of the liquid that had already percolated into the ground has apparently leaked off the property.

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