Chemical not detected in Cincinnati area; water intakes to reopen

Water quality samples collected at Greater Cincinnati Water Works' (GCWW) intakes show the Elk River Spill  has passed through the Cincinnati area.

"Our water quality team has not detected the chemical in the Ohio River water since 4:00 a.m. Thursday" said Tony Parrott, Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works and the Metropolitan Sewer District.  As a result, GCWW will open its intakes and begin normal operations this afternoon.

GCWW has been collecting Ohio River water samples and carefully monitoring the Ohio River since the chemical spilled into the Elk River last week near Charleston, West Virginia.

The chemical has been identified as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (methyl-cyclohexane methanol).  It is used in the coal mining industry, specifically for coal washing and preparation.

GCWW detected the chemical at levels between 10 and 30 parts per billion (ppb) as it moved through the Cincinnati area yesterday.  30 ppb is equal to 0.03 parts per million (ppm).  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the chemical is safe at levels below one ppm.

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