Tests in April and May showed that the family's well water was contaminated.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
BAZETTA -- A township family unable to use the well water at their home the past month will soon have running water again.
Trumbull County Commissioner Michael O'Brien made arrangements Tuesday for Dorelina and Lee Somerville to tap into the county waterline across the street from their Bazetta Road home.
"This is certainly an emergency situation since their well water appears to be contaminated," O'Brien said. "They need to have running water in their home. They shouldn't have to live like this."
The Somervilles entered into a lease with Great Lakes Energy Partners of Hartville in February, which allowed the company to drill on their property in exchange for free natural gas.
About two months after the oil and gas well went up, their well water started smelling funny.
"I don't know if the well water has anything to do with the oil and gas drilling, but I need to find out what caused this," Mrs. Somerville said.
CasChem Laboratories Inc. of Canton tested the well water in April and May and told the family it was contaminated.
"In order to get the water to her home, she needs to contact a plumber and have all the pipes cleaned out so that the contamination won't go back to our water," O'Brien said.
A plumber was working on the water pipes Tuesday.
"I can't wait to be able to shower again in my own home because we've been forced to shower other places and eat out," Mrs. Somerville said.
"I couldn't get help, and then I finally called The Vindicator, and my lawyer sent a letter to Great Lakes Energy, and now I'm getting assistance."
O'Brien, who said he first learned of the problem Monday afternoon, had officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Trumbull County Soil and Water Conservation District and the county sanitary engineer's office at the home Tuesday morning.
Workers took samples of the well water and samples of the water from the family's 21/2-acre pond next to the home.
All the fish in the pond have died in the past month.
Troy Smith of the soil and water conservation district said the problems with the well water and the pond may be different.
He said it is possible that the dying fish was a natural occurrence.
The district is performing several tests on the water. Results could come this week.
Officials at Great Lakes Energy Partners did not return several telephone calls.