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PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NORTH SANITARY LANDFILL - DAYTON
DAYTON, MONTGOMERY COUNTY, OHIO

SUMMARY

The North Sanitary Landfill posed a public health hazard in the past. At one time, there were about nine private wells contaminated with chemicals above levels of concern. The exposure stopped when these 9 residences were provided with public water. It is not known how long the exposure actually lasted.

The North Sanitary Landfill site poses an indeterminate public health hazard because of the possibility of exposure to site-related chemicals. This conclusion does not mean that there are not hazardous materials at the site, but that additional data are needed to characterize the hazard potential of the site. Preliminary data shows that on-site soil may be contaminated with site-related chemicals. The full extent of the contamination is not known. A fence is being installed at the site. At one time, people regularly entered the site. There are no monitoring data for leachate, surface water, sediment, off-site soil, or soil gases. Water quality in residential wells in the Avondale community just east of the NSL site is currently unknown. The exact number and location of private wells still in use in the area is not known. There may still be people using private wells that may be impacted by disposal at the site.

North Sanitary Landfill (a.k.a. Valleycrest Landfill) is north Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. The site is bordered on the east by a residential community; on the north by residential properties (along Avondale Drive); on the south by Valley Street and the B & O railroad tracks; and on the west by an industrial area (E and E, 1991). There are approximately 7,030 living in the area surrounding the site. The nearest residents to the site include the 7-9 homes along Valleycrest Drive, within 200 feet of former Disposal Areas #1 and #5. Photographs taken in 1974 show piles of drummed waste within 50 feet of one residence just north of Disposal Area #5 (Plummer, 1974). Photographs taken of Disposal Area #1 in 1973 show piles of waste and standing water within 100 feet of the homes on Pompano Circle.

North Sanitary Landfill (NSL) operated as a sand and gravel mining facility from the 1940's to the 1970's. Between 1966 and 1975, North Sanitary Landfill, Inc. operated the landfill at the eastern and central parts of the site. A variety of municipal and industrial wastes were disposed of in on-site gravel pits.

A Miami Conservancy District Regional Planning Commission study of groundwater in the Dayton area (Plummer, 1973) reported that the disposal of chemical wastes at the site resulted in the contamination of local residential wells along Valleycrest Drive. The wells were contaminated with a variety of chemicals, including trichloroethene, dichloroethene, dichloroethane, lead, cadmium, and phenol. These residences were hooked up to the city of Dayton water system around 1974 (Mark Case, Montgomery County Health Dept, 1994). Some of these residences may have hooked up to public water in the 1960's. An unknown number of residents east and north of the site currently use private wells for their drinking water supply (Mark Case, Montgomery County Health Department, 1994).

U.S. EPA completed a preliminary investigation of the site in 1986. In 1991 the Field Investigation Team (FIT) sampled soil, groundwater (monitoring and private wells). Analysis of monitoring well samples and soil samples collected in 1991 revealed elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the site.

Community concern information gathered by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) centered around whether or not the site poses a health risk to local residents, the types of chemicals dumped in the landfill, the potential health risks to children playing at the site, the timing of the site's clean-up, and risks to local residents posed by what ever clean-up activities are carried out at the site.

BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

The North Sanitary Landfill (a.k.a. Valleycrest Landfill) is on a 101 acre plot of land in north Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio (Figure 1, Appendix A). The site is bordered on the east and north by residential communities; on the south by Valley Pike and the B & O railroad tracks; and on the west by Brandt Pike and an industrial area. A north-south street, Valleycrest Drive, runs through the site and divides the landfill into eastern and western portions (Figure 1, Appendix A). There is an abandoned landfill (Cripps Landfill) north of the site (E and E, 1991).

There is a large trucking terminal on Harshman Road, east of the site, just north of Valley Pike (Figure 1, Appendix A). Stebbins High School is at the corner of Harshman and Valley Pike, about 1.25 miles northeast of the site. There are large water-filled gravel pits south of Valley Pike and State Route 4. The residential community of Avondale is just east of the site (Figure 2, Appendix A). It consists of small single-family frame houses on relatively large lots, distributed along Prince Albert, Broadmead, Sagamore, and Forest Home streets. A sewer-cleaning company is located on the north side of Valley Pike and parks its trucks in an area adjacent to the site. There is an automobile auction and crushing facility/salvage yard at the south end of Valleycrest Drive. Automobiles owned by this business are stored on a small part of the site. This facility is surrounded by 8-foot high fence. There is an auto-repair garage on the east side of Valleycrest. There are a half-dozen buildings, including several residences along Valleycrest north of the auto salvage yard.

There is a large terminal/warehouse complex north of the site, off of Avondale. The area west of the site along Valley Pike is a densely-populated residential area. A large petroleum storage terminal, with above ground storage tanks and truck-transfer stations is on the west side of Brandt Pike, just west of Disposal Area #4. Immediately north of the terminal area is an industrial laundry facility. Just north of this facility is a construction and demolition landfill. This is a brush-covered lot with piles of sand, gravel, and concrete. The area north of the site consists primarily of open, level grassy fields and small commercial facilities.

There are three entrances to the site which were used when the landfill was in operation. Local residents have created other entrances into the site. One entrance is along the east side of Valleycrest Drive. A second entrance is along the west side of Valleycrest Drive, just north of a residence. This entrance lead to the former gravel pits and the foundry landfill areas. The third entrance is on Brandt Street. This entrance leads to the foundry sand disposal areas (Figure 2, Appendix A). These areas are now overgrow with grasses and weeds. There are also numerous paths on both sections of the site. The site is currently being fenced.

The areas north, west, and south of the second entrance were used for landfilling. The "haul road" leads from the second entrance into the waste disposal areas. The ground surface of the landfill is uneven with waste exposed at the surface. The site has also been used for open dumping. There is a path leading into this area from between the plating and car crushing facilities (Figure 2, Appendix A). The "haul road" continues north into the drum disposal area (Figure 2, Appendix A). The northern edge of the drum disposal area lies only 200 feet south of a residence. At one time, there was some type of building in this area. The eastern part of the site is covered by mature trees, weeds, and grass. The ground surface is uneven, with numerous depressions formed during landfilling operations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) FIT investigators observed landfill waste and rusted drums exposed at the surface. The eastern part of the site has also been used for open dumping of domestic waste.

The NSL site is situated on a relatively level section of land just to the north of and adjacent to the floodplain of the Mad River, a major tributary of the Great Miami River. Topography in the vicinity of the site is subdued, gently sloping to the south and west. The site is underlain by glacial sand and gravel valley-fill deposits up to 150 feet thick. The water table at the site is approximately 20 feet below the ground surface (bgs). Natural groundwater flow in the vicinity of the site appears to be the south and west, but is locally disrupted by the pumping of nearby municipal well fields and industrial wells. A study by CH2M Hill (1986) indicates that the northern half of the NSL site is within the capture zone of the Dayton Miami South well field. Prevailing winds in the area are from the southwest.

The NSL site operated as a sand and gravel mining facility from the 1940's to the 1970's. Between 1966 and 1975, North Sanitary Landfill, Inc. operated the landfill at the eastern and central parts of the site. Area citizens have stated that landfilling occurred at the site prior to 1966. Peerless Transportation operated landfills along the west side of the site from 1977 to 1989. A variety of municipal and industrial wastes were disposed of in on-site gravel pits. The U.S. EPA has identified five waste disposal areas at the NSL site (1993). These include four unlined landfill areas and one drum disposal area (Figure 2, Appendix A).

Disposal Area #1 or the East Landfill, is a former gravel pit located on the east side of Valleycrest Drive (Figure 2, Appendix A). It was used for the disposal of municipal and industrial wastes from the Dayton area between 1966 and 1970. This landfill was excavated to 30 feet and encompasses an area of 1 million square feet.

Disposal Area #2 or the Central Landfill, is another former gravel pit, located west of Valleycrest Drive, in the southern part of the site (Figure 2, Appendix A). It was also used for the disposal of municipal and industrial wastes from 1970 to 1975. It has an estimated area of 210,633 square feet.

Disposal Area #3, the Northwest Landfill, is located at the northwest corner of the site, just east of Brandt Pike (Figure 2, Appendix A). From 1977 to 1989, this gravel pit was filled with foundry sand, slag, and baghouse dust from local foundries and metal-casting companies to depths of nearly 30 feet. Allegedly liquid wastes from a local sewer-cleaning company and a local transportation company were also dumped here. Wastes reportedly dumped included barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, molybdenum, and nickel, plus arsenic and cyanide (U.S. EPA, 1993). This disposal area is estimated to have an area of 280,845 square feet.

Disposal Area #4, the Southwest Landfill, is just east of Brandt Pike and north of the B & O railroad tracks, at the southwest corner of the site. Foundry sand, slag, and baghouse dust were disposed of in this landfill from 1977 to 1989. Wastes were disposed of across an area of 210, 633 square feet, approximately 30 feet deep.

Disposal Area # 5 consists of the Drum Disposal Area. This area was a water-filled gravel pit where, from 1973 to 1974, barrels of oil, paint, thinner, formaldehyde, solvents, and other liquid chemicals, were crushed, dumped on the ground or into the water-filled pit. The full areal extent of this waste disposal area is unknown.

None of these disposal areas had liners, engineered caps or cover, or leachate collection systems. Disposal areas #1, #2, and #5 closed in 1975 and were graded and covered with a thin cover of dirt. Disposal areas #3 and #4 were closed in 1989 and were reportedly covered with "clean" fill (E & E, 1991). None of the waste disposal areas are fenced and public access to the site is essentially unrestricted. Children have been observed playing on-site (U.S. EPA, 1993).

The site has had a history of complaints of odors and blowing dust. Odors were attributed to mixing of rainwater, leachate and wastes creating acres of standing water. Some liquid wastes were dumped into these areas of standing water. At one time, standing water covered nearly three acres of the eastern landfill area. In 1969, this area was filled in with 3-5 feet of gravel. Standing water was a chronic problem at the eastern and western areas of the site. Standing water, often filled with oil, continued to a problem at the site at least as late as 1972 (E & E, 1991).

A Miami Conservancy District Regional Planning Commission study of groundwater in the Dayton area (Plummer, 1973) reported that the disposal of chemical wastes at the site resulted in the contamination of local residential wells along Valleycrest Drive. The wells were contaminated with a variety of chemicals, including trichloroethene, dichloroethene, dichloroethane, cadmium, lead, and phenol. These residences were hooked up to the city of Dayton water system around 1974 (Mark Case, Montgomery County Health Dept, 1994). Some residents have stated that they were supplied with public water in the 1960's. An unknown number of residents east and north of the site currently use private wells for their drinking water supply (Mark Case, Montgomery County Health Department, 1994).

Numerous fires have been reported at the site while it was an operating landfill (E & E, 1991). Fires at the site were reported in 1967, 1969, and 1974. The February, 1969 fire at the site reportedly consisted of "burning brake dust." The July 1969 fire involved the explosion and burning of hidden drums of unknown chemicals. Fires in 1974 involved burning paper and rubber products.

U.S. EPA completed a preliminary investigation of the site in 1986. In 1991 the Field Investigation Team (FIT) sampled soil, groundwater (monitoring and private wells). A geophysical study was conducted at the site and 21 monitoring wells were installed in the sand and gravel aquifer underlying the site. Thirty-six soil samples, 31 monitoring well samples, and 12 residential well samples were taken by U.S. EPA contractors. Analysis of monitoring well and soil samples collected revealed elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the site.

The sand and gravel aquifer underlying the NSL site is a sole-source aquifer that provides drinking water to 434,000 people. City of Dayton municipal wells are located 4,000 feet downgradient of the site. Based on the possibility of the site impacting public and private water supplies, the U.S. EPA proposed the NSL site to be added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund hazardous waste sites in June, 1993. The site was listed on the NPL on May 31, 1994.

B. Site Visit

ODH staff Bob Frey, Tracy Shelley, Mandy Burkett, and Irena Scott visited the North Sanitary Landfill site April 4 and June 14, 1994. The site is in a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood. There are nineteen single-family hmes and duplexes on Pompano Circle, just east of Disposal Area #1. Four or five residences are at the north end of Valleycrest, adjacent to the site. Most had garden plots and one home had a vineyard. The former waste disposal areas are now grass and brush-covered empty fields. The site is now being fenced. A number of "no-dumping" signs were posted along the road, but there are no signs designating the area as a hazardous waste disposal area. Scattered piles of household garbage and automobile parts were evident across the site. Disposal areas 1,2, and 5 were covered with vehicle tracks. Bare patches of dirt and small bodies of standing water were evident at Disposal Area #5.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resources Use

There are approximately 7,030 people living in the area surrounding the North Sanitary Landfill. The entire area is considered urban and the people comprise 1,938 families and occupy 2,643 households (Census of Population and Housing STF1B, 1990). The population is relatively young, with a median age of about 26 years. It is also a predominantly white (90.8%) population.

The number of people who own their homes in this area is comparable to both the county and the State, but the median housing value is significantly lower. While the median housing value for the State of Ohio and for Montgomery County is in the low 60,000s, for the area of concern it is $36,296. About half of the people living in Montgomery County and about half of the people living in the area of concern have lived in the area since before 1985. This indicates a slightly less stable population than the State of Ohio as a whole where 83.2% of people have lived in their residence since before 1985 (Table 1).

The population of the area of concern has fewer people who have obtained a high school diploma (59.4%), compared to Montgomery County (77.8%) and the State of Ohio (75.7%). There is also a lower percentage of people in the labor force and a higher percentage of unemployment in this area, compared to the County and the State. The Median family income is $23,991, compared to $36,069 for Montgomery County, and $34,351 for the State of Ohio. The percentage of families below poverty is more than twice that of the County or the State.

Montgomery County is seemingly demographically very similar to the State of Ohio. However, the area surrounding the North Sanitary Landfill is different, decidedly more economically depressed, than either Montgomery County or the State of Ohio (Table 1).

Table 1
Demographic Profile

North Sanitary Landfill aka Valley Crest Landfill
Demographic Information obtained from 1990 Census Data

State of Ohio Montgomery County Area of Concern
Race
    White
    Black
    Other

87.8
10.6
1.6

80.9
17.7
1.4

90.8
8.3
0.2
Education
    % H.S. Grad

75.7

77.8

59.4
Labor
    % in Labor Force
    % Unemployed

63.5
6.6

64.7
6.1

56.1
10.4
Median Family Income $34,351 $36,069 $23,991
Poverty
    % Families Below

9.7

9.8

20.3
Residency
    since 1985

83.2

51.2

54.3
Tenure
    Owned
    Rented

52.1
29.6

60.0
36.6

62.0
38.0
Median Housing Value $62,900 $64,200 $36,296

The nearest residents to the site include the 7-9 homes along Valleycrest Drive, within 200 feet of former Disposal Areas #1 and #5. Photographs taken in 1974 show piles of drummed waste within 50 feet of one residence just north of Disposal Area #5 (Plummer, 1974). Photographs taken of Disposal Area #1 in 1973 show piles of waste and standing water within 100 feet of the homes on Pompano Circle. There are homes northeast, southwest, and north of the site.

There are several mobile home parks and a low-density residential community on the south side of Valley Crest Drive, south and southeast of the site. High-density residential neighborhoods in north Dayton are within 0.25 miles southwest of the site along Valley Street. There are also several residential properties along the east side of Brandt Pike, adjacent to Disposal Areas #3 and #4.

Land use in the vicinity of the site is a mixture of residential and commercial properties. Numerous small and large businesses are located along Valley Pike, mostly automobile repair, parts shops, and salvage operations. There is a large petroleum and transfer terminal complex on the west side of Brandt Pike. There is also a warehouse facility north of the site on Avondale Drive (Figure 1, Appendix A).

The NSL site is within 1,000 feet of the floodplain of the Mad River, a major tributary of the Great Miami River (Figure 1, Appendix A). Both rivers are popular areas for sport fishing. Numerous sand and gravel operations operate in the river's floodplain. Several large water-filled gravel pits just south of the site (Eastwood Park) are used for recreational purposes, including boating and fishing. Water from the Mad River is used to artificially-recharge the sand and gravel aquifer underlying the river at the city of Dayton's Rohr Island well field, just east of Harshman Road, 1.5 miles east and upstream from the NSL site.

Local residents living adjacent to the site in Mad River Township get their drinking water from private wells drilled into the sand and gravel aquifer that underlies the site or may be hooked up to the city of Dayton public water systems. It is not known how many residents still use private wells to supply their drinking water. Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) well logs show that there are 114 private wells within a 1-mile radius of the NSL site. Also dependent upon this sand and gravel aquifer is the city of Dayton's Miami South Wellfield, 4,000 feet northwest of the site. Dayton's Miami South well field pumps 20-24 million gallons per day and provides drinking water to roughly 150,000 residents of the city of Dayton.

D. Health Outcome Data

The only health outcome data readily available for review are birth and death statistics for Montgomery County. These data are not relevant when evaluating the potential effects from one site located in one city in the county.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

ODH held an availability session on June 14, 1994 to meet with the community and discuss any health concerns related to the site. Concerns were voiced about the incidence of cancer, nose bleeds, headaches, and burning eyes. Local residents were also concerned about the contamination of soil at the site, trespassers, and the problems with keeping the fence from being vandalized. Similar concerns were also voiced earlier to the Ohio EPA.

This public health assessment was released for public comment on November 9, 1994. No comments were received.


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