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Water District Closes Ohio River Intakes, Says Drinking Water is Protected

The Northern Kentucky Water District worked closely with Cincinnati Water Works and the Ohio River Valley Water Saniation Commission (ORSANCO) all day and all evening Tuesday to track the remnants of the Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia, District President & CEO Ron Lovan told local leaders on Wednesday.

The District believes that the leading edge of the chemical plume, caused by leakage from tanks used to treat coal near the Elk River, would have arrived in our area early Wednesday morning.

The Ohio River intakes are now closed.

The Water District has been feeding powdered activated carbon as part of any current pumping that occurs from its Ohio River intakes and its Granular Activated Carbon units, Lovan said, provide an additional barrier of treatment.

The Taylor Mill Treatment Plant, which handles the water supply from the Licking River, is also available to treat water during any period that the Ohio River's intakes are closed.

The Water District has been in contact with Huntington, West Virginia and Ashland, Kentucky to discuss their experiences. Lovan said that Huntington did not close its intakes but Ashland closed its for roughly five hours. No problems were experienced by either city, Lovan said.

"We have taken every precaution to protect the safety of our drinking water that is delivered to our customers," Lovan said in an email.

Photo: Ohio River on Monday/RCN file