Village adds well field protections

The drinking water for about 7,000 residents in Western Clark County gained additional protections Tuesday night when Enon’s council unanimously adopted a Well Field Protection Overlay District.

With the ordinance’s passage, the village administrative officer can regulate and enforce future land uses — and the amounts of potential contaminates that can be stored — within a 1-year time of travel of the regulated substances to the underground water reserves, according to the ordinance.

It also allows for misdemeanor charges to be filed against those found to not be in compliance.

Specifically, it prohibits several types of landfills, drywells, junkyards, waste water disposal and residues and other similar future uses within the area.

Work on the proposed ordinance began several years ago, but stalled until interest was renewed last fall due in part to an industrial zoning request in Mad River Twp. within the wellhead protection area, the Springfield News-Sun reported last year.

That residential-to-industrial rezoning case was approved by county commissioners with several provisions that, at the request of officials from the village and other agencies, include no hazardous waste treatment or disposal.

“This has been a long time coming,” Mayor Tim Howard said before its passage.

“I think we started in 2007 or 2008 and there’s been a lot of work by staff, Clark County has had input (as well as) residents, business, so we’ve had a lot of people that have looked at it and all their efforts are appreciated.”

An appeals process through the village’s Board of Zoning Appeals was also adopted as part of the ordinance.

Regulated substances that existed on properties prior to the new ordinance are allowed to remain. However, a change in occupancy or expansion of substances, or an increase in the amount of the substances beyond the limit is prohibited.

It also requires conformity with the ordinance by those properties or businesses if use of the land, building or structure is discontinued for two or more years.

The ordinance supplements regulations contained in an existing Underlying Zoning District.

“The (protection) area is designed to better safeguard the public health, safety and welfare of the customers of the village of Enon’s public water supply by regulating land use and the storage, handling use and/or production of regulated substances within this area,” the ordinance reads.