Ground Water Protection
Alongside the Muskingum River there lies a very rich groundwater aquifer, which is a source of drinking water serving the communities along the river and beyond. Freshwater from rainfall and snowmelt seeping into the ground, from river exchange and from freshwater springs fills the spaces between the particles of sand and gravel under ground. Because these underground areas near the river are made up of sand and gravel, they are particularly sensitive to contamination by a variety of pollutants.
If you live in a city or village, your drinking water most likely comes from community wells, provided by a Public Water System. If you live in the country, it often comes from a well in your yard. In some areas there is not enough ground water to even dig a well for a home, and water must be hauled in or piped through an extensive network. The hauled or piped water still usually comes from Public Water System wells.
Whatever goes onto the ground or into the ground in the areas where water wells are located will eventually end up coming out of the well. This means oil or gas either from leaking cars, from poorly maintained oil & gas wells or even from underground storage tanks; excess fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides used on lawns or agricultural fields, excess paint from rinsing out paint brushes; house hold cleansers; pet waste in your yard; or anything that goes into a septic system. The stronger the demand on the water supply- the more water being drawn out of the well by underground pumps, the more underground contaminants that will be drawn toward the well field areas.
Protection areas surrounding the drinking water wells are often made up of a patchwork of private land uses, residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, however, the water beneath these private lands is a shared resource. Because the water belongs to all of us, it is our shared responsibility to protect the drinking water well field areas from contamination so that this most valuable resource will be available for generations to come.