To help protect the groundwater and our water supply wells from potential contamination, the City is currently implementing a Wellhead Protection Plan (WHP). The City of Aurora has partnered with the Lawrenceburg-Manchester-Sparta (LMS) Conservancy District to implement the WHP Program. The WHP Plan focuses on public awareness and education and spill prevention and reporting. For your reference, a complete copy of the WHP Plan is available at the Aurora Utilities Office located at 110 Main Street in Aurora, IN or the LMS Conservancy District Office at 1406 Sunnyside Avenue in Aurora, IN. For more information or to join the local planning team and assist with the implementation of the WHP Plan, contact the Aurora Utilities Superintendent at 812-926-2745 or the LMS Conservancy District Superintendent at 812-926-2850.
The Annual Drinking Water Quality Report is provided to water utility customers each year and is designed to keep customers informed about the water utility and the quality of the drinking water over the previous year. The Aurora Utilities’ goal is to provide the community with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water.
As a part of the WHP Program, septic systems within the WHP areas were identified. Leachate from an improperly maintained septic system has the potential to directly affect groundwater used for our public water supply.
The City of Aurora is attempting to identify active, inactive and abandoned wells within the WHP areas. Damaged wells can become a direct conduit for surface contamination to reach the underlying aquifer. We ask for your assistance in identifying abandoned or inactive wells on your property. Please contact the Aurora Utilities at 812-926-2745 with relevant information.
Water wells are abandoned if the original purpose and use of the well has been discontinued for more than 5 years or if the well is in a state of disrepair. If the well was abandoned after January 1, 1988, a licensed water well driller must be used to plug the well. The licensed driller will complete a record of the abandonment and submit it to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
The Gaff family (of Hillforest), as part owners of the Aurora Gas & Coke Company, pioneered the use of manufactured gas for home and business lighting in 1860. Street lighting was added in 1874, before Aurora had a water system, and gas was manufactured at the site of the current Aurora Utilities office at 110 Main Street. Natural gas came into use in 1950 by a connection from Lawrenceburg along US 50, that in turn was connected to the Texas Gas Pipeline. While not used for lighting, natural gas now serves as a primary heating source for homes, businesses, and manufacturing. With the deployment of plastic pipe in the 1970’s the city was able to build a safe and secure gas system in 1987.
Knowing About Gas Leaks
Smelling – Hearing – Seeing
Natural gas, mostly methane, is odorless. Odorant is added to give a recognizable smell of rotten eggs or sulfur, to readily detect a gas leak. A hissing or roaring sound can also alert you of a gas leak, as the pressure escapes the pipe. Outside locations can have blowing dirt, bubbling of water, or dead vegetation that occurs with gas leaks or ruptured buried pipes.
If you think you have a gas leak and cannot determine the source, leave the area immediately. Warn others, and avoid using any potential ignition source, such as a car, telephone, doorbell, or electric switches. When cleared of the area, call the following “911” or Aurora Utility 812.296.2745. Don’t take chances! Report the area of the problem, and advise others to maintain a safe distance.
In a leak, natural gas will normally rise away from the surface and dissipate. Trouble occurs when gas migrates under the ground and into buildings, sewers, and conduits for other utility lines. Remain in a safe area until emergency personnel arrive.
Natural gas appliances should be installed and maintained by qualified service personnel according to manufacturer’s guidelines. Older appliances many have pilot lights that are continuous burning, while newer models have electric igniters. Keep combustible items away from appliances, and keep the area clean and filters changed.
You should know about what you’re using, and the location of shut off valves, or have contact with landlord/custodian with that knowledge.
The potential for carbon monoxide occurs with incomplete combustion when burning natural gas in an appliance or heater. As you can’t see, smell or hear it you might think you have the flu. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are:
Gas meters are the property of the Utility, and should never be tampered with. Please report anyone observed doing so immediately. The piping attached to the meter that continues inside, is the customer’s responsibility.
Customers can read their own meter similar a car odometer; it will keep rolling forward.
While some landscaping is possible, it is important to NOT block or hide the meter for emergency access.
Meters are painted periodically, and upon request a homeowner’s paint can be used.
Markers are placed in strategic locations to identify pipeline awareness, but not the exact location, depth of a pipeline, or how many. They do show the name and contact information of the pipeline owner, and what type of material.
Before any digging or earth moving, whether by a homeowner or a professional excavator or contractor, state law requires calling 8-1-1 to notify the local One-Call center at least 48 hours or two full business days prior to the scheduled excavation in order to have underground utilities located and marked free of charge.
Provide the 811 operator with the following information:
After calling 811:
Excess Flow Valves are added as an extra safety measure on gas service lines. Effective April 14th, 2017, at the direction of the Indiana Pipeline Safety Division, EFV’s will now be installed on all new single family service lines with loads not exceeding 1,000 SCFH. The purpose of an EFV is to automatically shut down the flow of gas, if the service line is ruptured between the main and the meter! Existing Aurora customers, were given an “option” of installing an EFV on their lines, at a cost of $275, prior to the effective date. EFV’s will not protect the customer for leaks after the gas meter. Further information can be supplied by calling the Utility office at 812-926-2745, and asking for the Gas personnel.
In the event a gas line is struck or ruptured, LEAVE the area immediately; do not try to move equipment or tools. Go to a safe area and call 911 to report the event. Followed by a call to Aurora Utility 812.926.2745 or 811 and they will dispatch the Utility.
Where does our water come from?
Using three drilled wells, Aurora’s water source is taken from the glacial deposits of sand and gravel in the Ohio River Valley Aquifer. This water is of excellent quality and receive only chlorine and flouride for dental health. As is typical of well water, it is considered hard water and the choice of water softening is left to the users.
Do I need to take special precautions?
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised people, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other kinds of immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their healthcare providers. EPA has set guidelines with appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants which are available from Safe Drinking Water Hotline 1-800-426-4791.
Are there contaminants in my drinking water?
Drinking water, including bottled water may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occuring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, or can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk or that it is not suitable for drinking. More information about contaminants and their potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline listed above.
For more information about Aurora’s drinking water, please call Randy Turner at (812) 926-2745, or if you wish to become involved with water decision-making, attend Utility Board meetings on the third Monday of every month at 5:00 PM in the Aurora City Building.
In Aurora, like many older cities, sewer pipes carry both wastewater (used water and sewage that goes down the drain in homes and businesses) and stormwater (rain or snow that washes off the streets and parking lots) to a sewage treatment plant. In many parts of Aurora, the mixed wastewater and stormwater flow together in a single pipe. This is called a Combined Sewer System.
The Combined Sewer System was built as Aurora grew during the early 1900’s, as an economical way to handle wastewater and stormwater. The advantage of this system is that most of the time when rainfall is low to moderate, both the stormwater and wastewater go the the treatment plant before being discharged into the Ohio River. However, if significant wet weather occurs, this becomes a problem. Sewers can overflow, sending both wastewater and stormwater into the Ohio River. This is called Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO).
CSO Warning signs are posted near areas where outfalls can occur. Public health recommends that people and animals not go into water near these signs for 48 hours after heavy rain.