With its abundant supply of high quality groundwater, the buried valley aquifer system is the most important aquifer in southwest Ohio. MCD works to study and protect groundwater through testing, reporting, educating, and stewardship activities.
Proper management of this resource will ensure the aquifer continues to support and enhance the region’s economy and quality of life. Highlights include:
- Total aquifer storage of approximately 1.5 trillion gallons of groundwater.
- Principal drinking water source for an estimated 2.3 million people.
- Yields in excess of 2,000 gallons of water per minute are possible in wells near large streams.
- Much of the groundwater maintains a constant temperature of 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
The U.S. EPA designated the buried valley aquifer as a sole source aquifer in 1988. A sole source aquifer designation applies only to aquifers that serve as the sole or principal source of drinking water for an area. This designation signifies that contamination of the aquifer would create a significant hazard to public health.
Working closely with communities who implement source water protection strategies, MCD helps identify and mitigate risks that may be in close proximity to drinking water supplies. For example, Tipp City permanently protected land over the aquifer by using conservation easements and deed restrictions. The city planted a prairie on the land to filter pollutants. With MCD’s help and matching funds, Tipp City leveraged Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation grants to secure its source water protection.
MCD staff also annually monitor wells located throughout the region for groundwater quality and quantity. Results are shared with community leaders, and studies and reports are published on our website. When MCD staff are in the field they check for things that require need further investigation including unusual conditions, pH, temperature, colors, or odors. We also notify Ohio EPA if we find concerning.