Villagers Raise Concerns Regarding Reservoir

At Thursday’s village council meeting, resident Ken Mason voiced concerns regarding the Cadiz Reservoir, located on Reservoir Lane.

Water is being drawn by Kokosing Construction for use by the Hess Corporation to frack wells on Toot Rd. Mason lives near the Reservoir, and every day he hears the drone of the pump and sees the changes occurring in the lake. Mason, who has had a long career in business, said he understands the economic benefits that revenue from the reservoir offers.

However, he is concerned about how much water is being taken and what the effects will be in the future. Water is being pulled out at a rate of 800,000 gallons to 1.2 million gallons per day. Mason said he has been asking the village’s agent for the water removal for information over the past three weeks.

“From my perspective … our agent should have been able to provide the information to anyone in the public that’s asking what the drawdown on the reservoir could be on a regular basis, on a daily basis, and what the overall environmental impact could potentially be over a period of time, with what they were attempting to take out,” Mason said. “I think it was approximately 48 million gallons, which is what it’s going to take to frack the four wells that are currently out there on Toot Rd.”

Mason added it took some persistent pushing to get the information from Kokosing.

After sharing his personal concerns, Mason produced a list of 90 people, some within Cadiz and all within Harrison County, who are also concerned about the withdrawal. The list contained comments about fishing and recreation, among others.

“It is a vital resource as far as the community of Cadiz is concerned,” Mason said. “I think it’s incumbent upon us, as storers of that resource, to do everything we can to maintain it, either for the recreational aspect of fishermen or individuals on kayaks, or even possibly, as noted in our resource data, as a possible resource for back-up water supply.”

Mason believes with planning, the village can use oil and gas operators to dredge and improve the lake, making it an even better resource.

“My concern is the oxygenation of the lake. Currently, we’re in July, as that lake gets down into that funnel and as we draw water off, the possibility of fish kill if that lake turns over, the stench is going to be not only my problem but it’s going to be every person’s problem in this community,” he said.

Mason went on to say that a thorough study should be conducted to determine the possible long-term effects of taking so much water from the reservoir, which is visibly depleted by three to four feet.

Kokosing is nearly done drawing water for the Toot Road wells, and no action is likely to be taken regarding the current contract with that company.

According to Water Superintendent Tom Carter, 51.88 million gallons are left in the reservoir. It is expected that Kokosing will be withdrawing another five million gallons.

Councilman Jim Drexler asked about regeneration data, and was informed by Carter that there is information on ODNR’s website. However, Carter questioned the accuracy of the data.

“They’re telling us that it will regenerate 300,000 gallons a day on an average daily flow. I personally think that’s a little high,” Carter explained. “I will make the statement that in 1999, when we were using it as a public water source, we were 50 inches below overflow level, which is lower than what we are at right now…the lake’s been lower than it is now.”

Council agreed that before another agreement to sell water is made, the future effects should be examined more thoroughly.

Solicitor Costa Mastros informed council that there is an option to suspend water sales, with a 48-hour notice.