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.
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.”