Bainbridge Twp., OH – Dozens of homeowners had no say in the matter when a gas well was drilled close to their homes in Geauga County last fall.

Less than two months after the drilling started, more than two dozen families were evacuated from their homes because of gas in their water wells.

A new report by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management, found that problems with the construction and venting of the gas well led to the contamination of private water wells and a house explosion. Click here for report

In December, Thelma and Rick Payne were jolted from their bed after their house was blown off its foundation. Methane gas leaked into the Payne’s water well and was ignited by the home’s heating system.

The state report traces the problems back to the gas well operator, Ohio Valley Energy Systems Corporation.

In a letter to affected residents, ODNR found that a cement job at the bottom of the gas well was “deficient.”

The investigation also revealed that gas pressure within the confined well area was allowed to build up to the point where the gas eventually forced it’s way up into surrounding bedrock and water wells.

Deputy Chief of Division of Mineral Resources Management Scott Kell wrote, “Ohio Valley Energy erred in closing the wellhead valve rather than temporarily venting or flaring the annular gas, prior to completing remedial cementing operations.”