Question: We live on a 55-acre quarry in northern Ohio. We have been dealing with a declining water level for years that we need to bring to a stop. The water is pristine and we obviously want to keep it that way. There is a lot of pressure on the aquifer that feeds this quarry as development in the area has been explosive and is continuing. The only option we seem to have is to pump from a deeper aquifer, but that water has sulfur. Can we pump this water in large volumes? Can we purify it to the point that is actually usable? How do we not destroy this great body of water?

Jeff Savage in Northwood, Ohio

Answer: Well, we searched long and hard for an answer for Jeff. We forwarded his concerns to our water experts, to online resources about sulfur contamination and many other outlets for assistance. But for all the knowledge we can access regarding water purification, in this instance, Savage’s problem can only be solved with the input of another source.

“This is not so much a technical question, but rather a regulatory/governmental issue,” said Larry Henke, WC&P Technical Review Committee member and professional consultant. He believes the key to finding out how to alleviate this water issue is to contact the local authorities.

How many people live on the quarry? The level has declined over the years…from what to what? Does anyone locally have a study of the quarry water and the aquifer it is in? Who owns the quarry? How deep is the water? Local development is likely intruding on the aquifer, but how do you deal with it?

While each of the these questions can be answered in one way or another and will need to be in order for Jeff to figure out what to do about his declining water table, local authorities will have to be the ones to help him address the problem.

As for the sulfur removal, it can be done, but again, the answer is not so simple. How much sulfur is present and how large is the water resource? What other substances are present in the water that might have conflicting treatment issues? What’s the budget? And who’s going to pay for the treatment system and the cost of operating it?

While all of these questions directly affect Jeff’s quality of life and the quality of his water, they cannot be properly addressed by even the most astute water treatment professional. They must be directed to his local elected representatives and city water officials.


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