Identification of Groundwater Receptors and Providing Alternate Water Source


Cox-Colvin & Associates was retained by an industrial client to identify contaminated residential wells and provide clean water for a community in which the Sole Source aquifer had been contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Using maps we developed of VOC contamination and groundwater flow, an area of interest downgradient of contaminant sources was outlined, comprising all of the properties with potentially contaminated wells. Teamed with our client, we conducted private meetings with well owners and public meetings with the community at large, to discuss the problem and solutions, and to understand residents’ concerns.


Cox-Colvin identified domestic wells in the area of interest using state well data, county board of health records, and city water-supply addresses. Door-to door interviews were conducted at over 300 properties to ensure that all well owners were located. Data from field logs for each address were transferred to the Cox-Colvin database and combined with existing records to ensure accurate tracking. The domestic wells were sampled, in concert with county and state health departments and the Ohio EPA. As an interim measure, bottled water was provided to all affected well owners until long-term solutions could be implemented. Cox-Colvin handled all arrangements and oversaw the replacement of contaminated domestic wells with connections to city waterlines, which required close coordination between residents, the waterline subcontractors, and city, county, and state highway authorities. Directional drilling was used for waterline installation, instead of conventional trenching, to resolve physical access problems. Finally, Cox-Colvin coordinated the permitting, design, and installation of a granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment system at the city well field, representing Ohio’s first public water supply system to allow treatment and use of a VOC contaminated groundwater water source. Cox-Colvin continues to work closely with city and state authorities to oversee the system’s operation and to ensure that the community is provided with safe drinking water.