DMWM Geology and Ground Water Support

 As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

We encourage you to submit fee reports and payments, registrations, licenses, etc. electronically if possible using any of our online services. Please refer to the list of available electronic services and contacts available from DMWM at DMWM eservice. For help establishing new accounts through our eBusiness services, contact Leanne Greenlee or (614) 705-1012.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

The Division of Materials and Waste Management (DMWM) geologist group provides support for geologic and ground water issues related to the permitting, ground water monitoring, and, as necessary, assessment and corrective measures for solid waste landfills and construction and demolition debris (C&DD) facilities.

Ohio’s regulations governing solid waste and C&DD landfills are designed to protect ground water resources. Modern-day landfills must meet siting criteria that consider ground water resources, drinking water wells, and other potential receptors. Landfills are also engineered with composite liner systems, leachate collection systems, and other controls that are protective of human health, safety, and the environment.

Landfill operators are required to install a ground water monitoring network designed to detect any early stage of ground water impact caused by the landfill. The ground water monitoring network is frequently sampled during the operating life of the landfill and during the post-closure care period. The DMWM geologist group reviews hydrogeologic investigation reports, ground water monitoring data, and other information to determine facility compliance and provide recommendations that address ground water impact through assessment monitoring and corrective measures.


Ground water monitoring requirements for Construction and Demolition Debris Landfills.

Construction and demolition debris (C&DD) landfills disposing of debris on or after September 30, 1996, are required by rule 3745-400-10 of the Ohio Administrative Code to have a ground water monitoring well system, unless certain conditions set forth in paragraph (B) of rule 3745-400-09 of the Ohio Administrative Code, are met.  The ground water monitoring well system is required to include sufficient background and down gradient monitoring wells, installed at appropriate locations and depths, to yield ground water samples from the first continuous significant zone of saturation underlying the facility.

The Ohio Revised Code requires the Director of Ohio EPA to establish a list of health departments that have been approved for the purpose of issuing licenses for C&DD landfills.  These approved health departments are the licensing authority and provide oversight of ground water monitoring at the C&DD facilities.  DMWM geologists may also provide technical assistance regarding ground water monitoring to the health departments and to the C&DD landfills located in counties that are not on the approved list.

If the licensing authority or director determines that the facility may be affecting ground water quality, the O/O of the facility may be ordered to conduct a ground water quality assessment to determine the concentration of possible contaminants, and their extent and rate of migration within the ground water.

Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a type of solid waste generated from community, commercial and agricultural operations.  MSW landfills can accept municipal solid waste as well as all other solid waste and exempt wastes i.e., spent nontoxic foundry sand, nontoxic fly ash and bottom ash, and construction and demolition debris.

To construct and operate an MSW landfill, various authorizations are required. From Division of Materials of Waste and Materials Management, the owner or operator must obtain a Permit To Install (PTI), to construct the landfill.  Obtaining a permit is a very complex and lengthy process to resolve hydrogeologic issues related to siting and ground water monitoring.

Modern MSW landfills are well-engineered facilities that are located, designed, operated, and monitored to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.  The operator/operator is required to monitor the ground water by means of a phased approach for potential contamination.  MSW landfills monitor ground water in detection monitoring for indicator parameters to determine if there has been an indication of a release, assessment monitoring to confirm or deny that indication, and if confirmed perform corrective measures ground water monitoring to remediate that release.  After an MSW landfill is closed, the facility is maintained and monitored, to include ground water, for a minimum of 30 years.  Siting criteria is combined with ground water monitoring to provide for protection of ground water and drinking water wells.

Industrial Solid Waste

Industrial Solid Waste (ISW) landfills are regulated under Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Chapter 3745-29. However, as of August 15, 2003, OAC 3745-29-10(A) requires:

The owner or operator of an industrial solid waste landfill facility permitted and operating, undergoing closure, conducting post-closure care, or with an approved closure plan under Chapter 3745-29 of the Administrative Code shall comply with the requirements of rule 3745-30-08 of the Administrative Code…

MSW landfills, ISW landfills can accept industrial solid waste as well as exempt waste i.e., spent nontoxic foundry sand, nontoxic fly ash and bottom ash, and construction and demolition debris.  Industrial solid waste is a type of solid waste generated by manufacturing or industrial operations. ISW landfills cannot accept municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, regulated PCB wastes, bulk liquids or wastes containing free liquids, infectious waste, scrap tires, or yard waste.

ISW landfills are required to meet design, siting, operating, closure, and post closure requirements. Siting criteria combine with ground water monitoring to provide for protection of ground water and drinking water wells.  The operator is required to monitor the ground water for potential contamination.  After an ISW landfill is closed, the facility is maintained and ground water is monitored for at least 30 years.


Residual Solid Waste

Residual solid waste (RSW) landfills can accept solid wastes from seven specific industrial categories. The waste streams from these industries are typically generated in large quantities and are generally homogeneous and of low toxicity. The seven industries are:

coal burning operations;
foundry operations;
pulp and paper making operations;
steel-making operations;
gypsum processing plant operations;
lime processing operations; and
Portland cement operations.

There are 4 classes of RSW landfills based on the levels of contaminants in the leachate.  All RSW landfills must meet the same siting criteria (with one exception). These provide protection of ground water and drinking water wells, in addition to other areas.  Ground water monitoring is required for all classes except the least stringent (Class IV).  After an RSW landfill closes, the facility is maintained and ground water is monitored for a minimum time based on the class of the landfill (5 years to 30 years).

Facility O/Os are required to implement and maintain a Ground Water Monitoring Program (GWMP) capable of determining the impact of the landfill facility on the quality of ground water occurring within the uppermost aquifer system and all significant zones of saturation above the uppermost aquifer system underlying the landfill facility.  The GWMP must be capable of detecting a release from the landfill facility to the ground water at the closest practicable location to the limits of solid waste placement.  Sampling and analysis procedures employed in the ground water monitoring program are to be documented in a Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP), included in the GWMP.

If at any monitoring well the O/O determines for two consecutive semi-annual statistical determination periods that there has been a statistically significant increase (or change in the case of pH) from background values for one or more of the applicable indicator parameters the O/O must notify Ohio EPA.  This requirement differs from that for MSW and ISW facilities which require Agency notification after the first semi-annual statistical determination.

The O/O must obtain a permit to install (PTI), issued by Ohio EPA to construct the landfill.  Obtaining a permit is a very complex and lengthy process to resolve hydrogeologic issues (for siting and ground water monitoring) and design considerations.

Ohio EPA’s Technical Guidance Manual for Hydrogeologic Investigations and Ground Water Monitoring (TGM) provides guidance on monitoring well installation and decommissioning (or sealing) to help the regulated community comply with Ohio EPA’s monitoring well regulations.  For those facilities regulated by DMWM, the TGM is applicable to the municipal, industrial, and residual solid waste programs along with construction and demolition debris facilities.  In addition to Ohio EPA’s requirements, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) requires the submission of well logs for all newly installed monitoring wells and well sealing reports for all decommissioned monitoring wells.  The person who installs or decommissions the monitoring well is responsible for filing the well logs and well sealing reports for the well owner (property owner).

Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) Rule 3745-9-03 requires that damaged monitoring wells be repaired or sealed and that monitoring wells that are no longer used shall be sealed using guidance from the TGM or other standards adopted by the director.  These requirements apply not only to monitoring wells installed for Ohio EPA’s regulatory programs, but any monitoring well or test boring that penetrates an aquifer in Ohio for any purpose.


Technical Guidance Manual (TGM)
for Hydrogeologic Investigations and Ground Water Monitoring

TGMThe TGM identifies technical considerations for performing hydrogeologic investigations and ground water monitoring at potential or known ground water pollution sources. The purpose of the guidance is to enhance consistency within the Agency and inform the regulated community of the Agency’s technical recommendations and the basis for them. In Ohio, the authority over pollution sources is shared among various Ohio EPA divisions, including the Divisions of Environmental Response and Revitalization (DERR), Materials and Waste Management (DMWM), Surface Water (DSW), Environmental and Financial Assistance (DEFA), as well as other state and local agencies.

This technical guidance is a series of PDF documents and was originally published in 1995. These documents will be periodically updated and the most current versions can be downloaded from the list below. The current version will contain a summary of major changes. DDAGW will archive older documents and maintain their availability (see Archives section below).

A FINAL update of Chapter 4: Pumping and Slug Tests of the Technical Guidance Manual for Hydrogeologic Investigations and Ground Water Monitoring (TGM)


Phone: (614) 644-2621

Fax: (614) 728-5315

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Physical address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Mailing address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 

Scott Sutliff Geologist (614)-644-2739