NKY closing Ohio River water intakes as 'precautionary measure' for possible East Palestine contamination

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Feb 18, 2023, 3:56:48 PMFeb 18
CINCINNATI — Northern Kentucky is following in the footsteps of Cincinnati
as it closes its Ohio River water intakes ahead of possibly contaminated
water from the East Palestine train derailment.

Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) announced Saturday that it is
officially shutting off its Ohio River intakes as a "precautionary
measure." NKWD previously said on Feb. 10 that they intended to close down
the water intakes as a precaution if chemicals from the train derailment
continued downstream.

"Maintaining the safety of our community's drinking water is our highest
priority," said Lindsey Rechtin, president and CEO of NKWD.

The decision also comes after Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW)
decided Friday to shut off its water intakes from the Ohio River and
switch to reserves. GCWW said their decision came "out of an abundance of

NKWD serves roughly 300,000 people in Campbell and Kenton counties, as
well as portions of Boone, Grant and Pendleton counties. It also serves
CVG airport.

"As a community member, I am grateful to know that the health of my family
is safe because of their efforts," Rechtin said.

NKWD said they have been working closely with GCWW and the Ohio River
Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) on monitoring the Ohio River.

The water intake closures come after hundreds of tests and samples have
been performed on the Ohio River. GCWW said on Saturday, Feb. 18 they had
tested approximately 148 samples from the date of derailment, and "no
detectable levels of the chemicals have been found."

NKWD anticipates the possible remnants of the spill between Saturday night
and early Sunday morning, whereas GCWW latest update estimates the
expected arrival is some time early Monday morning.

Outside of its work with GCWW and ORSANCO, NKWD said it's going to conduct
additional testing over the next few days as the possible contaminated
water is anticipated. They'll also be utilizing NKWD's "state-of-the-art
treatment processes" as a protective barrier, which includes powder
activated carbon in addition to granular activated carbon.

NKWD said they will run off of reserves until the intakes are reopened,
which will depend upon sample testing.


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