A Community Awareness Announcement for
The Residents of Bellefontaine
DRINKING WATER PROTECTION PROGRAM
Where does Bellefontaine’s drinking water come from?
The City of Bellefontaine’s drinking water is pumped from the ground by wells located west of Lewis Ratleff Park on the west side of Bellefontaine. The ground water is pumped to the Water Treatment Plant where chlorine is added to kill harmful bacteria in it. From there it is pumped through the underground network of pipes to Bellefontaine homes and businesses. But where does the ground water itself come from? All ground water originally comes from rain or melted snow that has seeped into the ground. Water is stored in spaces between sand and gravel and within fractures in rocks. Where ground water is abundant enough to provide an adequate source of drinking water, these water-rich sediments or rocks are called an aquifer. Ground water does not stay in one place. The ground water supplying Bellefontaine moves very slowly from Northeast to Southwest. This means that if pollutants are spilled on the ground anywhere near the wells, or northeast of the wells, they may eventually enter the ground water that you are drinking.
WHAT IS DRINKING WATER PROTECTION?
Drinking Water Protection is a plan of action for protecting the water that you drink from contamination. It also is called Source Water Protection. The protection plan was developed by the City of Bellefontaine through the efforts of staff and volunteers, with guidance from the Ohio EPA. First, the City enlisted the help of an engineering firm to help determine Bellefontaine’s “Drinking Water Protection Area”. The City made a list of the activities that were taking place in the Protection Area that involved the use of chemicals. More information was gathered about the types of chemicals present and the way they are used, disposed and stored. Once the City of Bellefontaine had this information, it was easier to determine ways to prevent accidental spills or leaks from happening.
The City of Bellefontaine has worked very hard to educate the community about Drinking Water Protection. However, the protection of your drinking water is an ongoing concern. The need for various types of protective measures changes over time. Residents that are very aware of Drinking Water Protection are replaced by generations that need the same education. One thing however, remains true-unpolluted water is one of Bellefontaine’s most precious and essential resources. Through active and ongoing Drinking Water Protection, it can be preserved for all community residents - today and into the future.
DID YOU KNOW???
Less than one gallon of gasoline can pollute one million gallons of ground water.
One person uses on the average 29,200 gallons of water a year.
Only 3 percent of the water on earth is drinkable.
Several Ohio communities are potential sources of ground water contamination - manufacturers and users of cleaning products, automotive products, fuel oil, furniture strippers, lawn & garden products and oil-based paints can lead to dangerous and unsafe drinking water.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PROTECT YOUR DRINKING WATER?
By disposing of chemicals properly, you can avoid contaminating your source of drinking water. Improper disposal methods include:
Chemical spills as well as over-application of fertilizers and pesticides.
Pouring leftover chemicals down a sink or toilet.
Pouring wastes down a storm drain. Storm drains transmit water directly to the ground or a stream and should not be used to dispose of chemicals or waste.
CONTACTS FOR THE CITY OF BELLEFONTAINE
For questions concerning Bellefontaine’s drinking water supply, contact:
Service Safety Director
CONTACTS FOR THE OHIO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Lazarus Government Center
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43215-1049
For questions regarding drinking water protection, contact:
The Division of Drinking and Ground Waters at 614-644-2752
For questions concerning pollution prevention, contact:
The Office of Pollution Prevention at 614-644-3469