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Tuolumne County And Its Closed Landfill Sites; A Work In Progress

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The County Public Works Department is trying to solve the ongoing problem of closing the Jamestown and Groveland waste landfill sites. Groveland´s site was opened in the mid-sixties while Jamestown´s dump began operations in 1974. Both sites were operated before stringent anti-pollution regulations from the state were enacted. State regulations required the county to shut down Jamestown´s site in 1995 and the Groveland facility last year.

Both sites are not equipped with liners that would prevent possible leaching into the water table, ending public use of the facilities. Newer generation waste disposal sites are required to have both the bottom and the top of the area lined to prevent leakage. That doesn´t mean the issue is closed. Because the facilities are not equipped to prevent leaching, water testing must be conducted several times a year to monitor for possible leakage.

It´s expensive and is required by the state. The county, who is the owner-operator of the sites, must comply. Currently, the county is negotiating with the state to figure out how much it will cost the county to maintain the closed dumps to the waste discharge requirements made by the Regional Water Board.