BENTLEYVILLE — Village officials have identified a well near the Bentleyville Community Park as a possible culprit for producing a strong odor of natural gas, which residents on Berkshire Park Drive and at the corner of Cannon Road and Berkshire had reported.

During the village’s Streets and Safety Committee meeting back in August, police Officer Jim Perkins had reported that residents were complaining of the odors. He reported that Bentleyville police, the Chagrin Falls Suburban Volunteer Fire Department and workers of Dominion Energy had investigated the smell and were unable to detect from where it was coming at the time.

Village Engineer and Building Official Jeff Filarski reported to council on Sept. 25, however, that they found the probable source to be leaking from the well near the village park on Cannon Road.

“It’s not a smoking gun, but the odor could be coming from that well assembly there,” he said, adding that the gas company will follow up with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to determine if there are any other orphan wells in the area, “which are abandoned wells, which may be spewing out some pockets of gas.” Mr. Filarski said, “ODNR may have an answer to that question.”

Mr. Filarski said the weather could affect the smell of the gas, explaining that humid conditions make the smell more detectable “because the gas stays low to the ground.”

Council President Ken Kvacek asked Mr. Filarski if there is any danger with the gas.

“There always is [danger] with gas,” Mr. Filarski answered, adding that the gas is not coming from a main break, which was checked several times.

Mr. Kvacek said the well was installed by ordinance years ago. That was probably about 12 to 15 years ago, Chief Gabe Barone said, adding that use of the well ended about two years ago.

Mr. Filarski said he would look into the paperwork of the ordinances and the well’s stopping to go back to the well producer for more information and any possible solutions.

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