Groundwater Program Assists Six Communities in
Developing a Regional Sand and Gravel Aquifer
The sand and gravel Chippewa and Killbuck Buried Valley Aquifers extend in a southeasterly direction from south central Medina County through northeastern Wayne County. This aquifer system is typically less than two miles wide and for a large segment lies below the Chippewa Creek floodplain. Communities that currently utilize this aquifer are Medina County, Creston, Seville, and Rittman. Doylestown and Wadsworth are in the process of developing wellfields in the far eastern area of this aquifer. Because of the limited extent of the aquifer and high demand, the Groundwater Mapping and Technical Services Program has been assisting groundwater users in the proper development of this aquifer so that it can remain a viable source of water. At the request of Westfield Township residents, DSWR has been providing assistance to the citizens of this township since 1997.
Wadsworth and Medina County were both looking for more groundwater to serve their customers. Well owners in the area were concerned that large withdrawals of groundwater would deplete their wells. Program hydrogeologists worked with the water company and the driller on three different occasions to collect groundwater level data in domestic wells and observation wells during large-scale pumping tests to get the most accurate picture of possible impacts. This data was used to determine a safe long-term pumping rate for the aquifer. Using the aquifer data, a projected area of influence was determined. This let all interested parties know the impacts that could occur when pumping started. A monitoring plan was set up by Medina County to collect background water level data before the wellfield went into operation.
In 2009, three land owners raised enough money to have an observation well drilled and a water level recorder installed. Well MD-7 is now part of DSWR observation well network and has been collecting hourly data since May 8, 2009. In July 2009, Medina County started pumping from the aquifer. MD-7 data will be shared with the county.
Long term planning will be critical not only in the Chippewa Buried Valley Aquifer area but everywhere in Ohio. The safe long-term pumping rate of the Medina County wellfield has been determined and the county plans on not exceeding that amount. Data collected from MD-7 will be used to monitor the aquifer. The Groundwater Mapping and Technical Services Program was able to assist in data collection and in designing a protocol to ensure wise development of the groundwater in the area.