The Wellhead Protection Management Plan represents the third phase of the wellhead protection process for the Village of Yellow Springs well field. Phase I, delineation of the protection area, and Phase II, identification of possible pollution sources are presented in the June 1998 report entitled Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio Wellhead Protection Program, prepared by the Wellhead Protection Advisory Commission and Panterra Corporation. These first two phases, the delineation and pollution source inventory components, were endorsed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). Because portions of the management phase rely on information developed and gathered during the first two phases, some of this information is necessarily incorporated into this document. Where general information is quoted from and/or restated from the June 1998 report, the information is included in this report in italics.
Management of the delineated wellhead protection area is not as easy or as straightforward as in some other Ohio Communities. While the Village is owner and operator of the community water system, it does not have jurisdiction over the land area identified as the wellhead protection zone.
In the fall of 2000, the Yellow Springs Village Council asked the Yellow Springs Environmental Commission (EC) to form the core of a committee to work with Bennett & Williams in developing the wellhead protection management plan. This solicitation followed a September 14, 2000 kickoff presentation to Village Council where the process of developing and implementing the management plan was discussed. Because the Council’s goal was to solicit varied interests to participate, letters were sent to over seventy members of the community representing a wide variety of interests in the wellhead protection area. A special solicitation was made to those members of the previous Wellhead Commission, inviting them as individuals to participate in the Committee. The result was the formation of the Yellow Springs Wellhead Protection Committee (YSWPC).
Public meetings were held on October 10, and November 30, 2000 to discuss the general nature of the Wellhead Protection Plan and to describe the process of developing and implementing the management plan. The participation and responsibilities of the YSWPC were also discussed. All public meetings as well as the Village Council kickoff meeting were videotaped and broadcast.
One key element in designing a wellhead protection management plan where multi-jurisdictional cooperation will be involved is an immediate public awareness program. Therefore, the development of the management plan included two main input processes:
1) the development and circulation of a questionnaire and 2) stakeholder interviews. The original concept was for Bennett & Williams to design the questionnaire and questions for the stakeholders. However, the YSWPC expressed interest in providing comments so an additional questionnaire review phase was incorporated into the timeline and the questionnaire was revised based on comments received. Stakeholder questions were altered and revised by YSWPC interviewers both before and during the interview process.
Once formed, the YSWPC conducted interviews to solicit involvement from all stakeholders within and/or adjacent to the delineated wellhead protection area. Where possible, interviews were conducted by teams to incorporate a broader interest base in the process. Approximately 41stakeholder interviews were conducted. The interview summaries are provided in Appendix A.
In addition, slightly less than 2,000 questionnaires were sent to users of the Village of Yellow Springs domestic water to obtain feedback on community perceptions and opinions regarding wellhead protection issues. The questionnaire was designed to assess public perception about four different areas relating to wellhead protection and water conveyance. The respondents were asked questions relating to:
- the potential pollution sources identified in the previous delineation;
- ideas and perceptions about future land use options;
- ways to prevent potential pollution in the wellhead protection area; and
- information about the current potable water delivered by the Village.
Information on household demographics also was gathered for informational purposes only. Over 400 questionnaires were returned. A copy of the questionnaire form is included in Appendix B.
The Wellhead Protection Committee played a vital role in this process by conducting interviews and preparing detailed summaries of both the questionnaires and interviews. The questionnaire responses as summarized by the YSWPC are included in Appendix C.
In January 2001, the former Wellhead Protection Commission submitted the report entitled Village of Yellow Springs Wellhead Protection Management Plan for the Village Council’s consideration. Because of the importance of incorporating all thoughts and opinions of the community in the WHP management planning process, the report was reviewed as part of the preparation of this plan. As a result, some of the concepts and approaches of the proposed plan were incorporated in this document. The ultimate goal of this process is to provide the community with the best possible management plan, that is both implementable and protective of the water supply for the Village and the ground-water resources of the area.
It is important to note that the management plan developed as part of this process was based only on those potential pollution sources identified within the one and five year time-of-travel zones as delineated in the 1998 plan and endorsed by the Ohio EPA. However, in consideration of flow regimes, some potential pollution sources, and recharge areas to the well field, the Village has decided to expand the existing protection area to include the well field capture zone, and also wants to better understand surface-water/ground-water recharge resulting from induced infiltration from the Little Miami River. To this end, the Village has prepared a capture zone map and has begun to contemplate additional potential pollution sources within this area.
Appendix Y contains a selected bibliography of information provided by the Village that has been made publicly available to the Village. These elements are included in the current plan primarily as planned future improvements to the management and delineation strategies. Although the focus of the management plan will be on potential pollution sources within the one and five year time-of-travel zones, educational strategies in this plan will be expanded to include the capture zone and community-at-large, when cost-effective and reasonable.