Sparkes Pit



    The site is located north of Lincoln Avenue and east of Beach Boulevard in Anaheim. The Sparkes family owned the 11-acre westerly section of the disposal station, and the Rains family owned the 7-acre easterly section.

Dates of Operation and Closure

    The County operated the refuse disposal station from 1958 to 1960. The County entered into separate but concurrent leases with the Sparkes and the Rains to operate a Class II/III sanitary landfill for the benefit of residents and businesses in the surrounding area.

Size and Types of Waste

    The approximately 18-acre site was constructed as a disposal station on a former sand and gravel pit. Approximately 500,000 cubic yards of municipal solid waste and construction debris was deposited. No liquid or hazardous wastes are known to have been disposed at this site.


  • Prior to 1940 A citrus orchard occupied site.
  • 1940-1950 Site was operated as a sand and gravel pit.
  • 1956 City Council granted variance for use of Sparkes Pit as a refuse disposal station.
  • 1957 City Council granted variance for use of Rains Pit as a refuse disposal station.
  • 1958-1960 Under lease agreements with the property owners, County operated site as local refuse disposal station, accepting municipal solid waste from an approximate 5-mile radius of site.
  • 1960 County ceased operations, closed the disposal station and placed a three-foot soil cover on site.
  • 1962 County terminated leases and returned site to Sparkes and Rains
  • 1964-1985 City approved mobile home park use for Sparkes property. Carports and parking lot for the Richmonte Apartments, constructed between 1978 and 1979, occupy the southern portion of the Rains property. City also approved permits for Ridgegate Apartment complex located south of Sparkes property.
  • 1987 County installed groundwater monitoring well MW-6.
  • 1990 County installed groundwater monitoring wells MW-1 and MW-2 in compliance with water Solid Waste Assessment Test (SWAT) requirements.
  • 1991 Property owner installed 3groundwater monitoring wells used as part of water SWAT investigations. Results detected low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in shallow groundwater wells.
  • 1996 County installed 3 deep wells to investigate whether VOCs impacted the deep aquifer. No contamination detected in the 3 deep wells, indicating site had no effect on deep aquifer.
  • 1998 The Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) approved abandonment of deep wells MW-7A, MW-8 and MW-9.
  • 1999-2000 No activity.
  • 2001 The Anaheim Redevelopment Agency (ARA) secured a Federal EPA Brownfields Grant and completed an environmental assessment of site in conjunction with a proposed commercial redevelopment project (Westgate), including former Sparkes and Rains sites. The Anaheim City Council authorized the ARA to enter into an agreement to assume property interest in site. ARA conferred with County and other regulatory agencies as site development materialized.
  • 2002 LEA and RWQCB completed environmental review of the development project. City approved a General Plan Amendment, zone change and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) contingent upon ARA obtaining a Development and a Disposition Agreement negotiated with developer.
  • 2003 ARA proposed upgrades on Sparkes site to current regulatory standards necessary for commercial development. Based on their interpretation of the Polanco Redevelopment Act, they asserted the County is responsible for the upgrades and asked for a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) to be prepared by the County. County submitted draft RAP pursuant to ARA’s demand, but it was summarily rejected by the ARA. The ARA moved forward with the preparation of their own RAP. The RWQCB issued Notice of Violations (NOV) to ARA for storm water ponding on the site. ARA submitted a grading plan to the LEA and RWQCB. LEA advised the ARA that a clay cap for the site was not acceptable.
  • 2004 Project developer (Zelman Development) announced plans to acquire site from ARA prior to construction; Developer to be named on RWQCB Waste Disposal Requirements (WDR). ARA proposed upgrades on Rains site to regulatory standards for commercial development. County submitted a baseline historical groundwater monitoring report to the RWQCB at their request. The LEA issued a Notice and Order (N&O) to Rains owner to remediate off-site migration of methane gas along northern and southern boundaries of site. The County received copies of ARA’s Draft RAP for the site. The Public comment period on the Draft RAP was extended to September 20, 2004 at RWQCB request. County provided comments on the draft RAP, and the ARA issued a Final RAP. RWQCB allowed a 90-day period for comments on this proposed final RAP.
  • 2005 The LEA approved the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) submitted by the Rains owner to remediate methane exceedances by proposing to install landfill gas (LFG) control system on the Rains site. The RWQCB extended deadline to provide comments on the Final RAP to April 04, 2005. The ARA installed 2 groundwater monitoring wells to replace wells damaged during ARA grading operations.
  • 2006 LFG collection and venting system installed on Rains site operational. The Rains property was sold to NNT Properties, LLC and Westgate Investment Group, LLC. NNT Properties, LLC also owns the Richmonte Apartment Complex including parking lot underlain by waste. The LEA issued N&O to the new Rains owner for methane exceeding regulatory limits. The Rains owner installed 4 additional extraction wells in southern portion of site near the apartment complex, but they were not connected to the LFG collection and control system.
  • 2007 LEA evaluated all available options to enforce State regulations on Rains owner after several attempts in reminding owner to install laterals to connect the 4 extraction wells to the existing LFG remedial system. LEA issued Notice of Violations (NOV) for ongoing inadequate site security and for probes to be free of blockage and obstructions.
  • 2008 In exchange for indemnification from environmental liability and no further involvement at the Sparkes site, the County entered into a settlement agreement with the ARA. The County will continue to monitor the site development as it moves forward.
  • 2009-2010 LEA approved the Long Term Monitoring and Operations Plan (LTMOP) submitted by the ARA.  Soil surcharging on portions of the site continue to force soil compaction in advance of development of the site.  LEA monthly reports over several months revealed methane in excess of regulatory limits in monitoring probes near the apartment complex located on the former Rains portion of the site.  On August 26, the LEA issued a Notice & Order (N&O) to the ARA requiring submittal and implementation of a remedial action plan to control LFG for the entire site, repairing and replacing non-function probes.  On September 9, the ARA appealed the LEA’s N&O.  The LEA is reviewing landfill system basis of design documentation developed for the site.  In April 2010, CalRecycle installed a continuous gas monitoring system adjacent to the apartments located on the former Rains portion of the site, consisting of eight methane sensors.  On December 15, the LEA received the revised Basis of Design reports for the proposed gas mitigation systems for both Sparkes Pit portion and Rains Pit portion of the site.
  • 2011 The LFG remedial system is in operation, however, the site continues to be in violation for site maintenance and LFG monitoring and controlling issues.  The LEA and ARA have engaged in meetings to resolve issues stated in the N&O and on March 23, the LEA and ARA signed a tolling agreement to allow time for further discussions on issues within the N&O.  On April 26, the LEA sent a preliminary approval letter, with conditions, to the ARA for the Basis of Design concept for the LFG system to be constructed at the site, proposing one LFG mitigation system and perimeter monitoring probe network covering the entire site.
  • 2012 Upon the State’s decision to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies, responsibility for the development of this site was assigned to Anaheim’s Community Services Department. LEA reports that construction of the site-wide landfill gas collection and control system is scheduled to begin in May of this year. There is no update as to the actual status of the Westgate project as a whole.

Current Owner

    Sparkes, Anderson and Davis Portions: Anaheim Redevelopment Agency; Rains Portion: Sinh Nguyen and Tina Tran, NNT Properties, LLC and Westgate Investment Group, LLC.

Current Land Use

    Open space; ARA purchased Sparkes, Anderson and Davis properties for their Westgate Development Project.

Environmental Control Measures

    System I - A passive LFG vent system installed by the property owner in 1979 located on the easterly portion of site.
    System II - Late 1983 or early 1984 an active LFG extraction system installed by Ponderosa Homes around the northeast perimeter of the Sparkes-Rains Pit properties in conjunction with construction of the Ponderosa Homes project located in Buena Park just north of the sites.
    ARA conducts quarterly methane gas monitoring of the northern boundary of Sparkes-Rains sites.
    ARA performs groundwater monitoring.
    CalRecycle and the LEA receive the data from the continuous methane gas monitoring system (8 methane sensors) located on the Rains portion of the site, adjacent to the apartment complex.

Click here for property location.

Click here for closed site information on Cal Recycle's website.


View Sparkes in a larger map.

Please contact us at 714-834-4000 if you have questions regarding this site.