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Landfill Monitoring

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) requires that all private and publicly owned waste disposal sites monitor ground and surface water quality to ensure potential contaminants are not being transported off site and adversely impacting the adjacent properties.  Water samples are taken usually three times per year from ground water monitoring wells located with and around the waste disposal area and from surface water bodies or watercourses in proximity to the landfill.  The samples are analyzed by a certified laboratory using the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (ODWQS) as the standard the water quality should meet at the edge of the landfill contaminant attenuation zone established by MOE. 

All landfills in Ontario require a Certificate of Approval issued by the MOE in order to receive waste for disposal.  The Certificate of Approval specifies the landfill monitoring and reporting requirements for each landfill which are established during the approval process.  The findings of the landfill monitoring are submitted to the Ministry of Environment annually for their review to ensure the landfill is operating in accordance with the Certificate of Approval. 

Approach to Landfill Monitoring

Once the ground and surface water sampling has been completed, a detailed review is completed of both current and historic data for the site.  Azimuth uses this data to establish a Site Conceptual Model that defines how the site functions given its geologic and hydrogeologic setting.  The conceptual model for the site and leachate conditions provide a fundamental understanding of how ground water and leachate move and interact at the site.  A conceptual model can be formulated immediately based on existing information about the regional setting and site situation.  This model will be refined as our understanding of the site grows and more data becomes available.  A scientifically-defensible model enables us to undertake both the monitoring and any potential remediation actions in the most practical and cost-effective manner.

Disciplines Involved

All landfill monitoring is done by our hydrogeology staff and reports are prepared and peer reviewed by qualified geoscientists.