News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications


Hospice of the Western Reserve

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us

Taking water from state lakes to help save township roads
Eastern Ohio's great reservoirs may be a boon to the drilling boom

Tim Rudell
Rocking beams dot the valleys and more are on the way
Courtesy of rudell
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
“Over the river and through the woods”…WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on the process of getting tens of millions of gallons of water to fracking operations across northeast Ohio…and on challenges literally, down the road
Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:47)

(Click image for larger view.)

The mournful sound of a gas-well rocking beam creeks north of Bowerston, in Ohio’s Harrison County.  This is lake country: eight thousand square miles of hills and hardwoods, with big reservoirs meandering through the valleys.  Clendening, Piedmnont and a dozen other lakes were built here 75 years ago as the nation’s first whole-watershed flood control system: the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.  

The rocking beams came later…and with water soon to come from the lakes, more will be on the way.  

Darrin Lautenschleger of the Muskingum district says that’s because over the next six weeks, the reservoirs will be “drawn down” -- lowered to accommodate the winter and spring runoff-- to prevent flooding.  “At Clendening and Piedmont there will be a combination of seven billion gallons of water that will be released during that time period.”  

And, he says, some of that water will be sold to drillers for “fracking”— blasting high pressure, chemically treated water into underground shale to fracture it and release trapped oil and gas. It’s the technology that’s creating Ohio’s gas and oil boom.

It takes about five million gallons of water to frack one well. Getting that much water, and getting it to the well sites, are challenges for drillers, and for the rural roads to the wells that weren’t built for tanker truck traffic. 

The Muskingum District lakes are near many proposed wells, so water could be sent to those sites via temporary pipe-lines (large diameter flexible tubing).  That would take some burden off the roads, and save repair and reconstruction costs. 

Joe Bauchman is Tuscarawas County’s engineer. He says repairing a back road after it’s damaged by heavy hauling or shoring it up ahead of time to take the load, means significant costs. “In talking to other county engineers we’ve kind of arbitrarily assigned a figure of $200-thousand-dollars a mile.”

Since township roads tend to be the most affected, Ohio’s Association of Township Trustees asked the Muskingum district to sell water to drillers; but only on the condition that the drillers sign a “road use agreement” that assures they will pay for upgrades and repair, and spells out how they’ll operate.  Belle Everett of Tuscrawas County’s Warwick Township is with the association. “Designated routes have to be named and these operators, their truck traffic, has to follow these designated routes.”

Laurie Lloyd is sitting by an astonishing array of brightly colored pumpkins and squash for sale in the front yard of her farm on state Route 212 in the heart of the lake country.  “Honestly, right here, right now, I see more oil trucks than water trucks unless they’re actually going to be drilling.  When they are going to drill a big rig, then you see then you get the big trucks hauling all of the equipment in.”

Up the road in Sherrodsville, Jeff Schmitt is a local insurance man.  He says property damage has not amounted to much yet. “We are getting a few comp claims, where we’ve had a few cracked windshields and those sorts of things.  But as far as collision claims, no we’ve not seen anything so far at all.  It’s been, ‘that water truck threw a rock and broke my windshield’ type of thing.”

The water trucks will go away in most areas fairly quickly; fracking a well takes a few weeks at most.  But, Engineer Bachman says, there may be a long-term cost story. “What sort of traffic are we going to get after the drilling is done.  I understand that there is one completed well in Carroll County.  And that completed well has 25 semi-trailers of liquid coming off of it every day. “

Meanwhile, selling water to drillers will bring the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District about 50 thousand dollars per fracking job.  Darren Lautenschleger says the money will pay for surface water quality improvements in the 27 county area.  

Related WKSU Stories

Environmental group says that Ohio isn't financially prepared for fracking
Monday, September 24, 2012

Fracking requires about 5 million gallons of water per well
Monday, September 24, 2012

A business EXPO that may help avoid the bust
Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Three non-water ways to frack a well
Thursday, August 23, 2012

Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Kasich campaign evokes dark images of a Trump presidency

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University