Thursday, May 28, 2009

Freshwater Aquifer Risk - water ,our most precious resource -at risk

The information on this page comes from the Ohio EPA - Division of Drinking and Ground Waters- click here to be taken to their site

Sole Source Aquifers -

Greenville, Ohio is the proposed site of one of the 7 large-scale CO2 Sequestration Demonstration projects - to pump 1 M tons of CO2 into the saline aquifer - AND it is one of the areas that sits on top of a Sole Source Aquifer - an even greater reason consider the risks involved with burying supercritical CO2 underground FOREVER!

One of the most important aquifers, in regards to contamination is a Sole Source Aquifer. The contamination of any aquifer, not just sole source aquifers, greatly effects surrounding communities.

The Great Miami Aquifer, that Greenville is part of, is one of the nation's LARGEST drinking water aquifers.

"U.S. EPA defines a Sole Source Aquifer (SSA) as an aquifer that supplies at least 50 percent of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer. These areas may have no alternative drinking water source(s) that could physically, legally and economically supply all those who depend on the aquifer for drinking water.

The Sole Source Aquifer designation protects an area's ground water resource by requiring U.S. EPA to review certain proposed projects within the designated area. All proposed projects receiving federal funds are subject to review to ensure that they do not endanger the water source."

"For convenience, all designated sole or principal source aquifers are referred to as "sole source aquifers" (SSA). " The designation of an aquifer as a sole source aquifer "provides EPA with the authority to review federal financially assisted projects planned for the area to determine their potential for contaminating the aquifer. Federally funded projects reviewed by EPA under the SSA program may include, but not be limited to, highway improvements and new road construction, public water supply wells, transmission lines, wastewater treatment facilities, construction projects involving disposal of storm water, and agricultural projects involving management of animal waste."
Greater Miami Sole Source Aquifer

The Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer (GMBVA) is an extensive sand and gravel aquifer that extends in a southwesterly direction from Indian Lake, north of Dayton, Ohio, to the Ohio River, generally following the course of the Great Miami River.

The GMBVA is classified by the United States EPA as a "Sole Source Aquifer" which applies only to aquifers serving as the sole or principal source of drinking water for the petitioned area and which, if contaminated, would create a significant hazard to public health. For this reason all Federal financially assisted projects constructed in the Great Miami River Valley and its principal recharge zone are subject to USEPA review to insure that the projects are designed and constructed in a manner that does not a significant hazard to public health.(Source

Below is a VERY informative link to a document entitled: Hydrology, Aquifers, Geology - and it talks about how aquifers are contaminated.In order to understand the critical role groundwater plays to society and the importance of removing contamination, we must first understand the role of hydrology.

Hydrology is the branch of geology that deals with the occurance, distribution and effect of groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater is typically NOT FOUND underground in a body of water similar to a lake or river. It is most often contained in the cavities, pores and voids interspersed among rocks, gravel, sand and soil in the earth's subsurface. When useful quantities of extractable water are found in these geological formations the area is known as an aquifer - "water bearer".

Additionally, this site references The Mound and the Fernald Plants and their impact on The Great Miami Aquifer and the need to keep our aquifers safe by implementing independent, "rigorous monitoring regimes" that are "adequately funded and free of the bias of the DOE - an agency that wants to downplay problems and gloss over errors of the past."

Transport of agricultural chemicals in five watersheds across the U.S.