Mill Creek valley is part of the greater Cincinnati industrial area in southwestern Ohio. In 1964, nearly 30 percent of the water supply in the study area of about 27 square miles was obtained from wells in the glacial-outwash aquifer underlying the valley. Ground-water demand has increased steadily since the late 1800's, and excessive pumpage during the years of World War II caused water levels to decline to critical levels. Natural recharge to the aquifer, from precipitation, is about 8.5 mgd (million gallons per day). In 1964, the total water use was about 30 mgd, of which 8.1 mgd was obtained from wells in Mill Creek valley, and the remainder was imported from outside the basin. With rapid industrial expansion and population growth, demand for ground water is continuing to increase. By the year 2000 ground-water pumpage is expected to exceed 25 mgd.
At a public hearing before the Ohio Water Commission in 1961, artificial recharge of the aquifer through injection wells was proposed as a possible solution to the Mill Creek valley water-supply problem. The present study attempts to determine the feasibility of injection-well recharge systems in the Mill Creek valley.
Although basically simple, the hydrologic system in Mill Creek valley is complex in detail and is difficult to evaluate using conventional quantitative methods. Because of this complexity, an electric analog model was used to test specific development plans.
Three hypothetical pumping plans were developed by projecting past pumpage data to the years 1980 and 2000. Various combinations of injection wells were tested on the model under different hypothetical conditions of pumpage. Based on analog model analysis, from three to eight inject-ion wells, with an approximate input of 2 mgd each, would reverse the trend in declining groundwater levels and provide adequate water to meet anticipated future demands.