06-21-03: Testing begins on well water
source for Celina
|By SEAN RICE
The Daily Standard
Well drillers contracted by Celina have completed a 320-foot test well
in a field north of the city off U.S. 127.
Water Superintendent Mike Sudman said Reynold's Inc., of Middletown,
will be pump testing the 12-inch diameter well after two smaller wells are dug next week.
The aim is to gage the draw-down of the surrounding water table.
The observation wells will show what effect the larger well will have
on the water table and other wells in the area.
The city has agreed to pay William Heffner $5,000 for the right to dig
test wells on his 80-acre tract less than a mile north of Celina to see if the land could
be used as a well field for the city.
Celina City Council is moving forward with well exploration in reaction
to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's mandate to find another water source
for the city or greatly improve the current system.
Celina was cited by the Ohio EPA for repeated clean drinking
water violations due to high trihalomethane (THM) levels turning up periodically in
treated water. The EPA believes THMs contribute to gastric cancers and other health
problems. The EPA's orders came last year after the city maintained a high THM average on
numerous occasions during the last 10 years.
A findings and orders document issued by the EPA outlines the steps the
city must take in finding a cleaner source of water. Celina was able to lower the
associated fine from $20,000 to $10,000, during the negotiating phase of the orders and
got the wording expanded to allow a wider range of treatment options.
The city is simultaneously testing a new technology on the clarifiers
in the current water treatment plant with water supplied by Grand Lake St. Marys. If the
new process works, it may bring THM levels within state limits and satisfy the EPA.
Otherwise, the city's efforts are heading toward a new, well-supplied treatment plant.
If a switch to a well system is made, the city would need to have three
million gallons of water a day readily available, roughly double the peak amount moving
through the plant now.
A well that produces 700 gallons per minute would yield nearly one
million gallons a day. Residential wells can be sufficient at as little as 40 gallons per
minute, Sudman said. In St. Marys, a sufficient water amount is pulled from a small
handful of wells, but in Coldwater the village uses more than 10 wells to supply its need.
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