The City's well field capacity should allow for anticipated growth (PDF). An additional 1 million gallons a day of well pumping capacity with the potential to increase pumping capacity in the future will provide the City adequate raw water supply to get through peak demand periods, maintain wells and pumps properly and allow for growth. Wadsworth's plan to ensure that we have both water capacity and a diverse range of water resources involves constructing a well in Chippewa Township in Wayne County to supplement our current water supply infrastructure of 12 wells.
The Chippewa Creek Well Project
In February of 2002, the City of Wadsworth entered into an agreement with the City of Barberton to obtain a perpetual easement for approximately 17 acres of land owned by Barberton in Wayne County's Chippewa Township. We need the perpetual easement to construct, maintain and operate drinking water production wells on this property. The agreement also allows Wadsworth to withdraw up to three million gallons of water per day, barring emergency. View a map of Wadsworth proposed new water source.
Transporting the Water
To transport the water the 6.5 miles from the well field to Wadsworth requires permanent water transmission line easements over private properties in Chippewa Township. We have been negotiating in good faith with the specific landowners, offering them fair market value in return for the use of the easements.
The Chippewa well field is located in the best yielding groundwater area in Wayne County and Ohio EPA has approved our 1 million gallons a day well plans (PDF). The Chippewa Creek aquifer is similar to the River Styx aquifer, comprised of coarse-grained sand and gravel deposits that can yield 500 to 1,000 gallons per minute at depths of 100 to 200 feet. Both are in glacial outwash buried river valleys and contain very large reservoirs of groundwater. Such buried valley aquifers supply major cities all over the State of Ohio.
Equipment & Impact on the Area
Although the valley is some 300 feet deep at the well field, our wells are set in only the top 75 feet of the formation and can draw from only the top 28 feet of groundwater due to the nature of the submerged pumps. At the north and south edges of the buried valley are bedrock formations (sandstone and shale) that are relatively impermeable and produce minimal groundwater in comparison to the center of the buried valley where our well is located.
In discussions with personnel of Ohio EPA and our own groundwater consultants, all are confident that there will be no impact on bedrock wells outside of the buried valley as a result of our permitted well operations. The City of Wadsworth and Save our Water have settled a case over the approval of the proposed Chippewa Creek Well, allowing the water well to go forward. The settlement agreement includes monitoring wells and aquifer modeling.
A significant number of the necessary easements to build the pipeline from the well to our city treatment plant have already been obtained. For those who did not want to voluntarily grant an easement for the pipeline, appropriation legal cases continue to go forward. The Court of Appeals unanimously upheld (PDF) our right to appropriate easements for the water line. Further, the Supreme court of Ohio (PDF) declined jurisdiction in this case and the appeal was dismissed. The City will continue to purchase easements from property owners as needed.