Solid waste material lies in the water in Paint Creek just up-stream from the City of Washington Court House Water Plant.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, drinking water is supplied from Paint Creek to 14,000 residents in the city of Washington C.H.
The solid waste material includes items such as tires, bales of fencing line, household appliances, and garbage. The federal Clean Water Act prohibits any solid waste from being discharged by a person into waters of the United States.
The solid waste lies in a part of Paint Creek outside of the city past Bloomingburg-New Holland Road near where Jefferson and Union townships meet.
Joe Denen, Washington Court House City Manager, doesn’t recall hearing about any dumps in Paint Creek.
“Occasionally you’ll get stuff left out—littering and things like that—but as far as prolonged activity, no,” said Denen. “We pay attention—but there’s nothing that I’m aware of.”
Denen said occassionally people in the county have that problem.
“They can view that as convenient to dump stuff. It’s not legal, but sometimes people aren’t too choosy about where they get rid of stuff,” said Denen. “We’ll go out and take a look.”
The land along this area of Paint Creek is privately-owned. The water is part of the “waters of the state” of Ohio.
Malcolm Miller at the Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District said the agency has not received any reports of dumping, at least not to his knowledge.
Leachate, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Drinking Water Glossary, is “A liquid that results from water collecting as it trickles through wastes, agricultural pesticides or fertilizers. Leaching may occur in farming areas, feedlots, and landfills, and may result in hazardous substances entering surface water, ground water, or soil.”
Ron Fannon, City of Washington Court House Service Department Water Plant Supervisor, said he has never heard of any dumping along Paint Creek from where residents’ drinking water is drawn.
“There’s laws and rules against that,” said Fannon.”Of course we do get levels that are higher at times but we don’t pump the water up to the reservoir—we have that level of protection,” said Fannon.
Some of the raw water samples are sent out to a third-party company who performs the testing for specific contaminants.
Those records are private for all those tests, said Fannon.
Vernon Stanforth, Fayette County Sheriff, said he is not aware of any complaints of dumping.
“We’ll definitely look into it and see if anything’s going on,” said Stanforth.
Reach Ashley or Martin at the Record-Herald (740) 335-3511.