The city of Cortland lies on the southeast ern shoreline of the 12.3-square-mile Mosquito Creek Lake in Trumbull County, Ohio. Cortland relies upon public wells completed in the Cussewago Sandstone for potable water. The Cussewago Sandstone, the principal aquifer in the study area, is a subcrop of the glaciofluvial sediments in the lake; the unit dips gently towards the southeast. Thickness of the Cussewago Sandstone ranges from less than 20 feet in south-central Bazetta Township to 152 feet in Cortland. The Bedford Shale overlies and confines the Cussewago Sandstone and separates it hydraulically from the Berea Sandstone. The Bedford Shale and Berea Sandstone are not a prolific source of ground water. In places, the Bedford Shale was completely eroded away prior to deposition of the Berea Sandstone. Where the Bedford Shale is absent, such as at the City of Cortland North Well Field, the Berea Sandstone and Cussewago Sandstone are likely in hydraulic connection.
Throughout most of the study area, the Cussewago Sandstone is a confined aquifer. Ground-water flow is to the east and southeast. Pumping at both Cortland well fields has created cones of depression in the potentiometric surface. These cones of depression cause a local reversal in ground-water flow immediately east of both well fields. The absence of detectable concentrations of tritium in water samples from wells completed in the Cussewago Sandstone at Cortland indicates that ground water predates the atmospheric nuclear testing of the 1950's. Ground water requires about 60 to 110 years to flow from the Cussewago Sandstone subcrop of the glaciofluvial sediments in the lake to the Cortland public-supply wells.
A comparison of aquifer storage and pumpage in the study area shows that the Cussewago Sandstone receives adequate recharge to support current withdrawals by Cortland public-supply wells. In the immediate vicinity of Cortland- between Route 305 and the Bazetta-Mecca Town ship line and between the Mosquito Creek Lake shoreline and the Bazetta-Fowler Township line-approximately 15,000 million gallons of water currently in the Cussewago Sandstone can be gravity drained from the aquifer without considering recharge to the aquifer. The 15,000 million gallons is equivalent to about 75 years of withdrawals by Cortland public-supply wells at current (1990-95) rates.
A numerical flow model rather than an analytical or semianalytical model would be needed to accurately simulate flow and ground-water withdrawals in the Cussewago Sandstone in the vicinity of Cortland. Computer simulations of flow would likely involve conditions where a fully saturated, confined Cussewago Sandstone becomes a partially saturated aquifer.