Monitoring for Hazardous Waste Leaks

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, (M.ASCE), Sr. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,
David Daniel, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX,
Martin Kurtovich, (A.M.ASCE), Engr.; California Water Quality Control Bd., San Francisco, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 2, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


It is safer and cheaper to keep hazardous wastes out of the groundwater and the ground than to remove them. But better monitoring will be required. In this three-part article, the first puts the subject in the context of government policy and regulations. California may be the leader, having passed two laws in the last two years requiring monitoring for leaks beneath hazardous waste disposal sites in the vadose (unsaturated) zone above the water table. To do this, more sensors are needed, and they must be closer to the bottom of the waste deposit. The second article describes several types of vadose-zone sensors, and the third, types of saturated-zone sensors. In both zones the idea is not to replace the groundwater monitoring well but to use it more cost-effectively—where the other sensors suggest there is a leak.

Subject Headings: Disasters and hazards | Hazardous wastes

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