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Only on FOX 55: Officials in tri-state to meet on Michindoh Aquifer drilling

Artesian of Pioneer is proposing drilling wells into the aquifer and piping it to Henry County, Ohio and several other communities near Toledo.

Posted: Sep. 6, 2018 9:39 PM
Updated: Sep. 7, 2018 5:51 AM

FREMONT, Ind. (WFFT) - Elected officials from several counties in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan will meet Monday to discuss their opposition to a plan where millions of gallons of water would be piped from the Michindoh Aquifer.

Artesian of Pioneer is proposing drilling wells into the aquifer and piping it to Henry County, Ohio and several other communities near Toledo.

"There's so much we don't know," said Norman Nichols, who lives just east of Fremont.

The communities near Toledo are buying water from the city of Toledo, however those municipalities are looking for a new water source because there have been several issues with toxic algae in the water in recent years.

That has many people in the tri-state area worried about the future of their water supply.

"We don't know how much of that water will replenish itself. We don't know the amount of water down there," said Nichols.

Many municipalities in Williams County formally opposed the plan.

Commissioners in DeKalb and Steuben Counties have expressed opposition, but haven't made a formal resolution because they feel it is too early to do so.

Artesian of Pioneer CEO (and Pioneer, Ohio's mayor) Ed Kidston said the plan is still in the very early stages and needs approval from the Ohio EPA.

"In the EPA processes the water we are going to take is a renewable resource," Kidston told FOX 55 in August.

However, Nichols is still worried about running out of water in his well.

"This well that went down in 2006 cost me about $4,000. It went down 128 feet. I want that to be my last well," Nichols said.

The Indiana Farm Bureau says it might be a little early for people to worry about their wells drying up.

"That's not the type of aquifers we have in Indiana," said Justin Schneider, Indiana Farm Bureau Director of State Government Relations.

Schneider said they regularly watch when someone wants to drill new wells in the state.

"I'm looking year over year to make sure you don't see a downward trend," Schneider said.

Kidston said that's why the tests are needed.

"That's why we know for a fact we aren't going to do anything to harm anyone in our hometown," Kidston said.

Officials from Defiance, DeKalb, Fulton, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Steuben and Williams counties will meet Monday.

The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. inside the Williams County East Annex Building, 1425 East High Street, Bryan, Ohio.

No public comments will be allowed during this meeting, but can be submitted in writing.

More meetings are planned.

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