08-20-03: Tests indicate there is no
quick fix for Celina water
|Site looks favorable, though, for drilling new drinking water wells
By SEAN RICE
It seems Celina's drinking water future may lie in a well field north
Preliminary tests on water table draw-down at the city's new well field
show there may be little effect on surrounding wells if the field is developed, a city
Tests also show a new treatment process that was test run at Celina's
existing water treatment plant will not provide the city with a quick trihalomethane (THM)
fix and satisfy the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Having a minimal draw-down effect on surrounding wells is one of
several EPA standards and rules to be followed in developing a well field, Celina Safety
Service Director Mike Sovinski said.
On a stretch of land east of U.S. 127, the city had a
12-inch well dug and two six-inch wells dug for monitoring. The 12-inch well is
approximately 320 feet deep and tests show it can pump about 230 gallons per minute. That
amount of flow is sufficient for a residential well, but half of what city officials hoped
for, Sovinski said.
"It's still a worthy well, you would just need to use it in
conjunction with other wells," Celina Water Superintendent Mike Sudman said this
The draw-down level at a 6-inch well 50 feet away was only four feet,
and at the other 6-inch well 500 feet away the draw-down was insignificant, Sudman said.
The city needs to have the potential to draw 3 million gallons a day
from the well field if a switch is made to a water well system, which would mean Celina
will most likely need to drill a half dozen wells, Sovinski said.
As part of the EPA requirements, the city's wells need to be 500 feet
apart, 300 feet from another property line and there needs to be multiple wells for
backup. With 80 acres on reserve, the city should have no trouble developing a well field
on the site, Sovinski said.
There may be another 12-inch well dug before a council committee meets
to discuss the well exploration progress, Sovinski said. Contractors in the field also may
try different techniques to coax more water out of the existing 12-inch well.
"There's multiple options we can look at in terms of increasing
the flow in that well," Sovinski said.
Engineers will evaluate the fractures in the bedrock the 12-inch well
goes through to see about opening the hole wider to make way for more flow, Sudman said.
The city is investigating a well field as a result of EPA orders to
construct a new water treatment system or dramatically improve the current system. After
numerous years of Celina violating the EPA rule on THM content in the finished drinking
water, the state agency took action. THMs are chemical byproducts of chlorine treatment
that are believed to cause certain cancers and intestinal diseases over a lifetime of
Along with digging the test wells, city council members approved a
pilot test of a new treatment component at the current plant. It was hoped to bring down
the THM levels and avoid spending millions of dollars on a new plant.
A pilot test was run for three weeks using Actiflo technology equipped
to a tractor trailer at the water treatment plant, and Sovinski said it did not turn out
to be the quick fix some hoped for.
"It can definitely improve our water, but I'm uncertain if it can
help us meet our EPA requirements," Sovinski said.
The company running the test noted that algae levels in Grand Lake St.
Marys were comparable to those in the famous Lake Okeechobee in Florida on the Everglades.
The company stayed an extra week "at no charge, because they found
our water very interesting," Sovinski said.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH