The focus of the program is to collect data and create maps that show groundwater availability in Ohio. The water well database and groundwater maps are all available online. The groundwater program also has authority to help resolve conflicts between groundwater users by conducting technical investigations and preparing reports to help all groundwater users understand impacts to the resource. In areas where groundwater withdrawals exceed natural recharge, program staff can designate groundwater stress areas with special reporting requirements for all groundwater users. Staff can also hold public meetings or hearings upon request from local governments and boards to help disseminate groundwater information in conflict areas.
Environmental, Economic and Public Importance
Water is the most important commodity for life. Approximately 42% of Ohioans rely on groundwater for their source of water. Knowing where groundwater can be obtained and how it can be managed is important for economic development. Businesses and industries will be more apt to locate and expand in Ohio if they know they will have a good water supply. Knowing how groundwater withdrawals may impact base flow in streams is also an important environmental aspect.
Ground Water Mapping
The Mapping Program utilizes staff to create generalized maps showing ground water availability, detailed Glacial and Bedrock State Aquifer Mapping, and ground water pollution potential mapping using the DRASTIC System. The staff also conducts special projects under U.S. EPA nonpoint source implementation grants to investigate the effects of nonpoint source contamination on ground water.
Potentiometric surface (water table) maps show the direction and gradient of groundwater flow. Maps are planned for all 88 Ohio counties.
Ground water resource maps are color coded for the amount of water expected from the most productive aquifer in an area. These maps show the types of aquifers present in the county, expected yields, and typical depths of wells. To learn more about this mapping program and to check map availability, ask for a copy of the fact sheet titled "Ground Water Resources in Ohio".
Pollution potential reports, including a color coded map, evaluate the susceptibility for contamination of the ground water within a county. Factors such as depth to water, net recharge to the aquifer, aquifer type, soil type, topography or slope of the land, type of material above the aquifer, and hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer are evaluated and rated. To learn more about this mapping program, ask for a copy of the fact sheet titled "Evaluating Ground Water Pollution Potential in Ohio".
The Technical Services serves as the state repository for water well records and provides advice and technical information to ensure adequate water supply. The staff conducts technical investigations of ground water supplies for ground water conflict resolution.
Research and Special Studies
Staff hydrogeologists frequently conduct research to further locate and define water resources in Ohio. This would include buried valley studies, mine site evaluations, detailed ground water mapping or conducting pumping tests.
Well Log and Drilling Reports Records
Under Ohio Revised Code 1521.05 a well driller is required to keep a careful and accurate log of the drilling and to file this information with the Division within 30 days of well completion. The WRS has over 720,000 well log and drilling reports on file covering every area of the state. Single copies of well logs are available free to home owners, relators, drilling contractors or consultants. Requests for well logs should include information on the county, township, address or location of the property, the original owner, the year the well was drilled, and the drilling contractor, if known.
Ground Water Conflict Resolution and Investigation
The Division of Water has the authority to help resolve conflicts between ground water users by conducting technical investigations and preparing related reports to help all ground water users understand the impacts to the resource. In areas where ground water withdrawals are exceeding natural recharge, the Division can designate ground water stress areas with special reporting requirements for all ground water users. The Division can hold public meetings or hearings upon request from local governments and boards to help disseminate ground water information in conflict areas.
Evaluation of Ground Water Availability
Hydrogeologists in the WRS review well logs, ground water studies and basic geologic data for any area in Ohio and report on the area's ground water resources. Information such as type of water bearing formation, expected well depths and yield are available. This is a free service to all Ohioans.
Ground Water Education
The WRS promotes wise development of the ground water resources in Ohio. Education is very important to achieve this goal. WRS staff attend and speak at a wide variety of conferences and meetings, at both professional and non-professional levels.
Contact: Jim Raab, Supervisor (614) 265-6747