GRANGER TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Sandy Mangan holds up a milk jug filled with contaminated well water she claims continues to jeopardize the safety of her Medina County neighborhood.
Mangan claims her well went bad in September 2008, after gas well drilling at a park down the street affected their water table, turning the water into a dark mix of salt, natural gas and concrete.
Sandy's husband, Mark Mangan, showed 5 On Your Side how their water well is now filled with natural gas by using a multiple gas meter.
"I'm going to open the well head now, and I'm going to stick the meter down there," said Mark Mangan. "There you are, 100 percent LEL. That means if you light a match right now, we go boom."
Lower explosive limit levels, LELs, are a way to measure explosion hazards caused by natural gas.
The Mangan's claim they have been living with potentially hazardous water, and the possibility of an explosion, at their home for more three years.
"We felt like we we're abandoned in a bomb waiting to go off," said Mangan.
The couple reports the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ruled in January 2009, that there was no connection between gas drilling and water well contamination at their home and their neighbor's home.
The couple reports the ODNR told them the change in their water quality was caused by a drought. But the Mangan's claim the U.S. EPA and the Ohio's Inspector General is asking the ODNR to re-open the case.
The 5 On Your Side Troubleshooter Unit contacted the ODNR to see if the agency is willing to look further into a possible connection between gas drilling and water contamination. We can't release the name of the gas well owner or drilling company until we get further information from the Ohio Inspector General's about this on-going investigation.
The ODNR responded to NewsChannel5's request for an update on the Mangan's case by issuing the following statement;
"We’ve conducted extensive testing on the two active gas wells in the area, and have conclusively determined that the issue experienced by the home owners are not related to those wells."
"Our findings were reviewed by the Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Health, both agencies agreed with our conclusions." "However, we suspect the issues experienced by the homeowners are caused by an abandoned well directly across from the properties."
"Because the abandon well sits on private property, ODNR must be granted access to the well by the property owner or provided special permission by the local fire chief." "ODNR has been repeatedly denied access to that well by the owner of the property where the well sits, and the previous fire chief."
"We have asked the current fire chief for special access to the property to examine the abandon well and are awaiting his decision." " If and when access is granted, we have the expertise to implement corrective action."
Because of problems with their water well, the Mangan's were forced to buy a $15,000 cistern water collection system.
"We just want this nightmare to be over," said Sandy Mangan. "We just want the drilling company and the gas well owner to make it right."
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