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Cincinnati Responds to Chemical Spill Up the River
CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- A chemical spill that has tainted a West Virginia river and threatened a community's water supply could reach Cincinnati by early or mid-week.
The Elk River is about 200 miles upstream from Cincinnati and is a small Ohio River tributary. Cincinnati Water Works employees are in the process of getting a sample of the chemical so they can determine the best water treatment option if needed here.
Sixteen wells supply the city of Hamilton's main filtration plant. That number of sources alone are enough to ensure water quality in the event of a chemical spill.
Greg Petredis, Water Production Superintendent, said, "Because our wells are not clustered in one group we could have a contamination event and be able to isolate a particular well and still have an adequate source water or raw water supply to operate our treatment plant."
The plant has processes in place to provide safe drinking water. Ranging from an aeration system to a lab for the testing of H2O. Even if the main plant went down, Petredis says the city has a back up plan ready to go.
"We have the ability to produce six million gallons per day at our north water treatment plant which would be sufficient for our Hamilton customers and we would be able to produce water for drinking use, cooking use and necessary functions."
The contamination of the water supply in West Virginia was the result of a chemical spill into the Elk River. Something that Petredis says could have been prevented.
"I would think that they would have all of their chemical tanks with secondary containment that would be capable of holding the full quantity of that chemical tank."
The city of Hamilton has won many state and national awards for "Best Tasting Drinking Water." It was once voted, "World's Best." The city, which bottles it's own water, may be shipping some of its H2O to help those affected in West Virginia.
A federal investigation is now open concerning the West Virginia spill.