West Virginia
4:52 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

As a precaution, Cincinnati shutting its intake valves

Update: The Greater Cincinnati Water Works shut down its valves about midnight Wednesday morning after detecting the Elk River contamination in samples at the Meldahl dam. The spill then reached  the Miller Treatment Plant about 7am Wednesday. The Water Works is working closely with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) to track the spill and conduct ongoing water sampling analysis. It anticipates the bulk of the spill to pass through the area within the next 24-to-48 hours, depending on river and weather conditions. GCWW continues to supplement its water supply using its groundwater plant located in Fairfield. Customers should not experience a disruption in water service. 

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Beginning most likely Tuesday night, the Greater Cincinnati Water Works will shut its water intake valves as a precautionary measure, following the chemical spill that happened in the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia.

WVXU's Tana Weingartner reported Friday the spill would not affect Cincinnati drinking water. At a news conference Monday Mayor John Cranley echoed what the Water Works told WVXU, the shutdown would likely last 20 hours and the city has more than 60 hours worth of water in containers.

This is precautionary because one of the treatment processes the Water Works has is granular activated carbon (GAC) and it can remove chemical contaminants.

These are the GAC (granular activated carbon) beds that can remove chemicals from the water.  Cincinnati was the first utility in the nation to use GAC and then purify it on site.
These are the GAC (granular activated carbon) beds that can remove chemicals from the water. Cincinnati was the first utility in the nation to use GAC and then purify it on site.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Scientists are taking samples every mile between Ashland, Kentucky and Maysville to track the spill. ORSANCO uses thirteen monitoring stations along the Ohio River to detect and warn treatment plants downstream about spills.

On Thursday a chemical used in coal processing leaked into the Elk River and then into the water supply for nine West Virginia counties. NPR reports the water is flowing there again.