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Chester County Press

Artesian to share results of well's aquifer test with residents

11/20/2014 11:46AM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Delaware-based Artesian Water Resources will be hosting a town hall meeting with township supervisors and local residents on Dec. 1 at the Avondale Fire Company, for the purpose of sharing the results of an aquifer test that was conducted this past spring at the company's well on Broad Run Road and Newark Road in Landenberg.

Anticipating a large turnout, the supervisors chose to move the site of the presentation from the New Garden Township Building to the fire company, located at 23 Firehouse Way in Avondale. The presentation will begin at 7 p.m.

Artesian's upcoming appearance in New Garden is sure to serve as a lightning rod of controversy, one that began earlier this year when the company was the legal right to drill on the grounds – property they purchased from the Wilkinson family several years ago – from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Jan. 31. The purpose of the drilling was to conduct a 72-hour aquifer test at the Landenberg well site, which extracted more than 600,000 gallons of water from the well, at a rate of 200 gallons per minute. The purpose of the aquifer test was to determine the production capacity of the well.

The results of the aquifer test will form the bulk of Artesian's presentation, said John Thaeder, Artesian's vice president of operations.

"It will be an opportunity for Artesian to give factual representation of the services of operating a well and its impact at this location," he said.

From the beginning, both legislators and citizens alike have strongly opposed Artesian's presence in New Garden. In a Jan. 24 letter to Thaeder, township solicitor Vincent M. Pompo wrote that no record of land subdivision approval exists, and that the company is in violation of two township ordinance compliance issues.

The company's presence in New Garden has also produced a groundswell of public disapproval, most prominently realized by the formation of the Save Our Water Committee, a grass roots group that has galvanized several hundred local residents in opposition to Artesian's plans. At a Save Our Water Committee meeting on April 17, Marion Waggoner, president of the committee, said that Artesian has a serious water shortage problem in nearby New Castle County.

"They're starting to run short on water, and its serious enough now that in 2013, they were told to come up with a comprehensive plan to tell how they're going to supply water to Delaware. They've got to drill more wells, or build a reservoir someplace. They're obviously looking for sources of water."

In the April 30 edition of the Chester County Press, Dian C. Taylor, Chair, President & CEO

Artesian Resources Corporation, fired back at Waggoner, saying that his claim that Artesian is starting to run low on water is "a complete fabrication."

"The fact is that Artesian has an abundant supply of water available to serve its Delaware customers," Taylor wrote. "In Delaware, water providers serving in northern New Castle County are required by the state to certify that they have a sufficient supply of water to meet customer demand in a drought of record without initiating water use restrictions. And, any new sources of water from outside of Delaware cannot be considered as available supply for purposes of the certification.

"Artesian has met this requirement every time since the requirement was enacted in 2003, and we have no concern with our ability to continue to meet the requirement," Taylor added.

Joseph DiNunzio, Artesian's executive vice president, said that an Oct. 22 editorial in the Chester County Press invited Taylor to speak to area residents about Artesian's plans in New Garden Township did not impact the company's decision to finalize its Dec. 1 presentation.

"Actually, we had been in touch with New Garden officials prior to the editorial, but not long before it ran," DiNunzio said. "Once we had the results [of the well aquifer test] in hand, we said all along that we would come back and share the results with the community. We hope to share that [the existence of a fully-operating Broad Run Well will have] no impact on either area wells or the White Clay Creek Water Shed.

"Many concerns will have been allayed."

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected].