Dayton water

Kevin Jones with the Fair River Oaks Priority Board spoke in front of nearly 100 people at a public town hall meeting on Dayton's source water protection program.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

More than 25 people out of nearly a hundred in attendance took the mike at a town hall meeting about Dayton’s drinking water protections Monday evening.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The City of Dayton is considering changes to its drinking water protections, and a public town hall meeting is set for Monday evening to hear feedback on the latest proposal.

An image of the revised source water protection policy map for the city of Dayton's wellfields.
City of Dayton

The city of Dayton has released new proposed changes to its drinking water protections following a series of public meetings and meetings with stakeholders over the last six months. Water Department Director Tammi Clements presented an outline of the latest proposals to the Dayton City Commission Wednesday morning.

Dayton's wellfields supply water for an estimated 400,000 people in the area.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

 A new group called the Dayton Citizens’ Water Brigade is holding a teach-in tonight about the City of Dayton’s water protection policy.

The group opposes changes to the policy that’s been in place for over 25 years. The policy was created as an attempt to keep hazardous chemicals away from the wellfields that supply water to 400,000 people around Dayton, including most Montgomery County suburbs. It forbids new chemicals within a set geographic area, and provides incentives for companies to reduce chemical storage already in place through a buy-back program.

The Great Miami River is connected to the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, where Dayton gets its water.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The City of Dayton water department says it’s considering feedback from the public and businesses on a proposal to change the city’s drinking water protections.

The city’s water system, which serves 400,000 people including customers in Kettering, Vandalia, Riverside, Trotwood and Brookville, pumps water from two industrial parts of Dayton. Since the late 80s, city zoning laws have limited the hazardous chemicals companies can have in those areas.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Dayton’s Mad River wellfield is on a grassy island in the middle of one of the city’s three major rivers. Phil Van Atta, head of Dayton’s water treatment operation, says the wellfield, where Dayton pumps up groundwater from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, is one of his favorite places. The shallow sand and gravel aquifer in some places lies just feet below the ground, and its 1.5 trillion gallons of freshwater is constantly recharging from the rivers and rainfall.

Jeffrey Simmons speaks to representatives from the City of Dayton water department.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

About 20 people spoke out at a public meeting Monday on Dayton’s proposal to revise its drinking water protections. Almost all the speakers opposed the plan, which would reduce the most stringently protected area by 40 percent.

Lewis Wallace / WYSO

The first of two public hearings is taking place Monday, July 14 on possible changes to Dayton’s drinking water protection program. Drinking water for more than 400,000 people in Montgomery and parts of Greene County comes from two wellfields that tap into the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, a shallow sand and gravel aquifer that is vulnerable to contamination from surface spills.