Apple Valley Elementary School
7 N 88th Ave, Yakima, WA 98908


Schools in Yakima county were sampled for lead and arsenic contamination as part of Ecology’s Area-Wide Soil Contamination Project.  Soil beneath the grass of the playground at the Apple Valley Elementary School contains lead and arsenic; sampling and analysis indicates that contamination exceeds state cleanup levels.

Area-wide soil contamination is defined as contamination above state cleanup levels that is dispersed over a large geographic area. The soil contamination in this case is a result of central Washington’s orchard industry. Much of the region consists of current or former orchard land, where long-term pesticide application has taken its toll. Lead arsenate, a pesticide commonly used between the years of 1905 and 1947 to control the codling moth, has been identified as the primary source of increased lead and arsenic concentrations.

Due to their chemical structure, lead and arsenic tend to bond with soil particles and often remain at or near ground surface level for decades, creating an exposure pathway through inhalation and/or ingestion.

Although lead and arsenic are naturally occurring elements, elevated concentrations have been proven to have a negative impact on human health. Young children are generally more susceptible than adults, which is why Ecology has focused remediation efforts on schools.


Ecology conducted an Interim Action during the summer of 2012.  Ecology's preferred cleanup alternative consisted primarily of placing clean soil on top of the existing soil to prevent exposure to contaminated soil and establishing new grass in this clean soil.  Playground areas incorporated the geotextile fabric and a minimum of 12” of engineered wood fiber.  Bark mulch and rock gravel were used in other landscape areas.  A dedicated bus lane was added to the construction contract as a change order and capped contaminated soil under a gravel-base course and asphalt.  The plan included modification of the existing irrigation system to maintain the turf grass cover and installation of a storm water drainage system to prevent runoff from the parking area.  Ecology determined that this alternative will provide the necessary barrier to prevent human exposure to lead and arsenic. 

Because all contamination was not removed from the site, an environmental covenant will be filed by the school district to restrict future development or improvements on the Site that could expose contaminated soil.


Map showing site location as Yakima County, WA SITE INFORMATION


View Electronic Documents

Cleanup Site Details Report

Facility Site ID: # 3464749

Cleanup Site ID: 882

Yakima, Yakima County

Status: Construction Complete-Performance Monitoring   Get definitions of Status terminology

Valerie Bound
Site Manager
(509) 454-7886

Document Repositories:

Central Regional Office
1250 W Alder St
Union Gap, 98903-0009