Canton studies drinking water safety measures

May 19, 2013 by  

Safe drinking water is vital to every community, and Canton officials are set to study the effects of various situations on the city’s water supply.

The improving economy may cause some unlooked-for side effects in the Canton region, with both oil drilling and gas fracking operations under consideration, meaning that Canton officials want to assess potential side effects of these techniques on Canton’s water.

Approximately 120,000 residents of Stark County, which includes Canton, get their water from three aquifers. The City Council of Canton entered into a contract with a firm that conducts environmental studies, to see the possible effects oil and gas exploration might have on the water supply. The study is estimated to cost $500,000.

Tyler Converse, who is head of the Canton Water Department, said the information gained from the study would be used to address any problems that arise from the activities and to be proactive by anticipating risks that might occur if development is undertaken near the oil and gas sites.

Converse added that the Water Department might look to the City Council, zoning requirements, or legal measures, if necessary, to protect areas from development if it is found to be problematic with regard to the aquifers.

The City Council also discussed a measure that would allow it to spend another $500,000 to buy the mineral rights and the land near the water supply.

Any Canton officials concerned that drilling could pollute the aquifers might consider working with brochure printers to develop material for distribution to residents, informing them about the issues.