Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer

Dayton, Ohio benefits from a plentiful groundwater supply known as the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer (GMBVA) which was designated a Sole Source Aquifer in May of 1988. Replenished by water that seeps down from the overlying rivers, this aquifer serves as the sole source of drinking water for the entire Dayton region. The City of Dayton provides drinking water to 400,000 people from this underground treasure.

The aquifer is comprised of sand and gravel deposits, completely saturated with water, which stores approximately 1.5 trillion gallons of water. Rivers, streams, and lakes quickly recharge the aquifer, making the groundwater truly a renewable resource. City of Dayton production wells can extract up to 2,500 gallons of water per minute per well.
Artist drawing of Aquifer in ground
In Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley, several business sectors use groundwater as an essential element of their business. The Agricultural industry, such as Cargill, uses water to process corn and soybeans. The Food and Beverage industry, such as Miller-Coors, built their largest North American brewery here and the many local micro-breweries all use this high quality water in their product.
Groundwater in the Dayton region is extremely susceptible to contamination at the surface. For this reason, the City of Dayton established a Multi-Jurisdictional Source Water Protection Program (SWPP). This program seizes on the prevention of increased risk and the reduction of existing risk. The goal of the SWPP is to protect and preserve the groundwater resources that supply Dayton’s drinking water. As Dayton provides quality drinking water to approximately 400,000 customers we strive to maintain a regional cooperative effort and balance economic development and source water protection, by using a multi-faceted approach to risk: management, prevention, mitigation, and reduction.

The SWPP is an example of local government at its finest. Business leaders, citizens, and community organizations throughout the region combined their talents to create an effective and innovative program. The SWPP has, is, and will continue to provide quality drinking water to all customers by protecting and preserving the GMBVA through its continued efforts. Source Water Protection is an environmental challenge, which historically deferred to federal and state government programs. Dayton has successfully addressed this challenge with ownership and commitment.

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