Ills at Elings

I wonder how much Elings Park board members know about the landfill below the park and what it is doing to the Las Positas Valley environment? “Report of Waste Discharge” suggests big problems, and it has already required expensive mitigation to begin. This report describes what was placed into the unlined landfill, and it was required when Elings was enrolled in the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s General Monitoring Program. It can be found at

Sewer sludge mixed with the park’s soil, volatile organic compounds in the water samples, and monitoring for a toxic plume radiating in the ground water of Las Positas Valley are among some of the report’s findings. Explosive levels of gas have been detected within the landfill and its perimeters, and recent inspections report violations. The City has spent nearly $2 million installing a gas venting machine and contract monitoring to help alleviate the problem. One of the reports indicates the machine was turned off for its ineffective mitigation results.

Arroyo Burro watershed is perennially listed under the Clean Water Act as a compromised recreational waterway, with high levels of fecal indicator bacteria. Sewer sludge equals fecal indicator bacteria, most likely, and Elings’s drainage and catch basins run off from the park and drain into Arroyo Burro watershed. The lack of warning signs of these dangers, especially for parents of children playing on the park’s fields or swimming at the beach, are very disturbing. Rather than taking over public tennis courts, maybe Elings should focus on something more meaningful, like cleaning up the environment.

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