This invention provides a geomembrane or geotextile with embedded optical sensors that are used to monitor the status of containment site barriers. Fiber optic strands are used to form the sensors that can detect and monitor conditions at the sites such as breaches, slope creep, subsidence, leachate levels, fires, and types of materials present or leaking from the site. The strands are integral to the membrane or textile materials. The geosythetic membrane is deployed at the site in a fashion similar to carpet laying. Edges of the membrane or textile are joined to form a liner and the ends of the membrane or textile become the connection zones for obtaining signals from the sensors. A connection interface with a control system to generate Optical Time Delay Response or other light signals for transmission to the optic fiber strands or sensors and also to receive reflected signals from the sensors is included in the system. Software to interpret the sensor signals can be used in the geosythetic monitoring system.