New wells tapping more landfill gas in Jackson

Four new landfill gas extraction wells are being drilled at the Green Energy Park in Jackson County, with the resulting energy helping to fuel craftspeople at work.

The Green Energy Park taps methane landfill gas to provide fuel for blacksmith forges and foundry, glassblowing studios, and greenhouses. Methane builds up as a byproduct of decomposing trash below ground.

The new wells to tap the landfill gas marks the first time that extensive excavation has been done at the landfill since the original dozen or so in 2005. Quality Drilling of St. Paris, Ohio, is boring the wells 70 feet deep.  

“It’s important because it will allow us to maximize our gas supply here at the GEP,” said Timm Muth, director of Green Energy Park. “We’ll be able to run all of our equipment at the same time and have more artists working at the GEP creating beautiful works of art which helps to attract tourists to Jackson County — a win-win for all of us.”

Jackson County is paying $33,000 for the new wells. Several of the original wells had seen decreasing gas flow, likely indicating that the high density polyethylene well casings had become clogged with sediment, and that new wells needed to be drilled to tap the continually generating gas coming from the landfill.

“If we didn’t drill these wells the landfill gas could migrate into the ground water,” Muth said.

The Jackson County Green Energy Park is an award winning, community-scale landfill gas project located in Dillsboro. www.jcgep.org.

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