Garrettsville public affairs board remains vigilant

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Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs wishes to thank JD Environmental Consulting LLC for its presentation to participants in the Garrettsville Water Monitoring Program, their families and friends. BPA contracted with JD Environmental Consulting to establish this program.

Dr. Jeffrey Dick, chief geologist, explained the unconventional hydraulic fracturing technology that is being used to extract natural gas from Utica and Point Pleasant shale. He expressed his concern regarding surface spills, accidents and leaks at drill sites, pipelines and Class II injection wells. Such surface spills have the potential to contaminate underground water aquifers.

Anna Draa, project geologist, mapped the underground geology around Garrettsville and the village's water wells. She explained that the main influx of underground water into the village's water wells comes from Nelson and Hiram townships north and west of the village. Private water well owners in those areas are contracted with BPA as monitoring sites, and are tested regularly by the Portage County Health Department. Contamination detected at these water wells would give BPA time to respond and remediate the problem before village water wells would be affected.

The 16 water well owners currently in the program are along S.R. 82, Wheeler Road, S.R.305, Mills Road, S.R. 88 and Brosius Road. You will notice five signs in the area advising residents that they are in a "Drinking Water Protection Area" and to "Report Spills to 1-800-282-9378." Water from this area flows underground into the water aquifer that feeds the village water wells. If you see a spill of any kind, call this number to alert an Ohio EPA Emergency Response. Another call to 911 will also alert local officials to the area for a quick response.

Dr. Dick and Anna Draa will give a presentation to the public in Garrettsville in spring of 2013 when the results of their study is complete.

BPA thanks Ohio EPA, Portage Health Department, the private water well owners, and JD Environmental LLC for partnering to establish the Garrettsville Water Monitoring Program for our village's watershed.

Stephanie Byrne, Chris Knop, Fran Teresi, trustees

Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs

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