Marion County Wellfield Education Corporation (MCWEC); it is a mouthful, yet an important connection for local businesses. MCWEC’s task: protecting the county’s aquifers and wellfields, so vital to the health and growth of the city.
Current Drinking Water Supply
Indianapolis currently obtains seventy-five percent of its drinking water from surface water sources. These sources are at their limit. If the city begins to take more than it already does from these sources, they will begin to dry-up. Therefore, Indy can only grow and increase its water supply through groundwater sources such as aquifers and wellfields.
There are six main wellfields within Marion County: Riverside, Fall Creek, Speedway, South, Ford Road, and Geist. These are areas that lay above aquifers which are pumped for water. Each wellfield can be divided into different sections based on how long water lying below that point will take to reach the well from which it is pumped to the surface. MCWEC divides wellfields into one and five year areas. Other cities and counties may divide wellfields into ten and even twenty year areas too!
Wellfields are negatively affected through the release of chemicals into the soil. These chemicals then flow into groundwater, contaminating it and making it unsafe to use as drinking water.
Helping Businesses within Wellfields
The Wellfield Education Corporation works with businesses located within wellfields to protect groundwater. Businesses that use chemicals and other potentially harmful substances are the main focus.
MCWEC has two ways of helping these businesses. Mundell & Associates is proud to partner with the MCWEC.
- For new businesses – mandatory review of business plans and designs. Any new company within a wellfield must have their plans approved by a technically qualified person from Mundell & Associates.
- For existing businesses – free, technical, confidential help provided by Mundell & Associates. This help is voluntary, so no business is required to work with Mundell.
The typical process begins with a preliminary screening questionnaire. This will determine whether your business has a potential to contaminate groundwater. Then a more detailed self-assessment will help to determine where and how Mundell can help you improve your business practices regarding the handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals used at your facility. Finally, an on-site assessment by scientists and engineers from Mundell will finalize a plan for improving the use of chemicals at your facility and help you protect our water resources. For certain cases, Mundell may even be able to provide free equipment that will help your company prevent contamination.
The protection of water resources is, and always has been, an important issue. Protection of wellfields has been discussed ever since the settling of this continent:
There shall be no man or woman dare to wash any unclean linen, wash clothes…nor rinse or make clean any kettle, pot, or pan, or any suchlike vessel within twenty feet of the old well or new pump. Nor shall anyone aforesaid, within less than a quarter mile of the forte, dare to do the necessities of nature, since by these unmanly, slothful, and loathsome immodesties, the whole forte may be choked and poisoned.
Governor Gates of Virginia
Proclamation for Jamestown, Virginia (1610)
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