Who exactly owns Wellington’s water supply?
Clearer guidelines may be needed to answer that question, according to water superintendent Mark Rosemark.
Village council member Guy Wells said they need put in place so no company — such as a large bottling company — could come in and drain large quantities of water from the reservoir.
There’s no ordinance currently on the books that would stop such a ploy, he said at a May 2 council meeting.
“Our raw water capacity is very generous,” said Rosemark. “However, there is kind of a gray area as to whether anyone else would be entitled to come in and and use water from our reservoir.”
The water in the reservoir is jointly owned by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the village of Wellington.
The village acquires a certain percentage of the water each year. After over 40 years of operation, Wellington’s percentage has increased significantly.
Because of the joint proprietary rights to the water, though, there is a question of someone asking the state of Ohio if they can come in here and start using water, according to Rosemark.
“It may be necessary to look at our contract, and make sure that no one could come in and use the reservoir without the permission of the village of Wellington,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but it’s not impossible,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “It could be something that has simply not been thought of yet by an outside company. There is no record of someone attempting to do something like that in Wellington. If the idea was brought up, though, it could be a 50-50 scenario as to whether they act on it.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Dual ownership at the Wellington Reservoir between the village and state could open the door for a third party to use the water, some officials worry.