DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The city of Cincinnati made an announcement saying the city will intend to close the city off from the Ohio River intake.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is working with the city to close the intake of the Ohio River out of “an abundance of caution”. As the river is closed off, the city will move to switch water flow to the water reserves, rather than the river, a release says.
Cincinnati said they are taking the precaution of closing the river off, since the arrival of the last detectible concentration of the chemicals is anticipated to arrive from the spill site in East Palestine after the Norfolk Southern derailed on Friday, Feb. 3.
City Manager Sheryl Long said the city is working to protect its residents and provide preventative steps to do so.
“Our City Administration is prepared for these types of events. I understand the concern, and I’m confident that temporarily shutting off the Ohio River intake is the best move,” Long said.
Long said, “There’s zero risk that our water reserves contain contaminants from the train derailment site, and tapping these reserves will give us all peace of mind. I want to thank GCWW, who are truly the best of the best, and state that I have full faith in their decision-making and their ability to keep us safe.”
GCWW said their water reserves have no contaminants from the East Palestine derailment and will continue to monitor the levels within the Ohio River while on the reserves. Once the levels are safe, the release says the intake from the river is expected to be reattached to the city. When Cincinnati reactivates onto the Ohio River intake, the GCWW will take the step for “additional optimized treatment,” no matter if chemicals are detected in the river.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely and stand ready to protect the quality of our drinking water. Ensuring a clean and safe water supply to customers is our top priority,” GCWW interim director Verna Arnette said.
Over 130 water samples from the river have been tested at the water intake and reportedly have found no detectible levels of chemicals, GCWW said. Results from the tests will be posted on Cincinnati’s water website here.
The water works department said the spill is expected to reach the intake facility and Cincinnati on the Ohio River either late on Saturday, Feb. 18, or early Sunday, Feb. 19, a social media post from GCWW said.