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Cincinnati monitoring Ohio River waters following Elk River chemical spill

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After West Virginia's water crisis this past week when a chemical leaked into water caused thousands of residents to go without drinkable water for days. Authorities banned water use but gave little information to the public on what was happening. As of Monday, Jan. 13, the water ban was lifted and residence are asked to run water taps for an hour to flush the remaining toxin out of pipes.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) is detecting the Elk River Spill, identified as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, at levels between 10 and 30 parts per billion (PPB) in the raw Ohio River Water. Drinking water is not affected.

GCWW says it is important to note that 30 ppb is equal to 0.03 parts per million (PPM). The CDC says the chemical is safe at levels below one PPM. What GCWW is detecting in the raw Ohio River water is well below what the CDC considers safe.

As a precautionary measure, GCWW shut down its intakes shortly before midnight on Tuesday, January 14 to reduce risk and protect Cincinnati's water supply. GCWW is using their 60 hour supply of emergency water

In an update of the situation, GCWW reports, "The Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) continues to carefully monitor the Ohio River and is taking all necessary precautions as a result of a chemical spill that occurred last week on the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia."

"The safety of our drinking water is our highest priority. Our water is safe and we are taking precautions to keep it safe. Our objective is to protect our water supply and reduce risk to protect public health," said Tony Parrott, Director of GCWW and the Metropolitan Sewer District Joint Utility Management.

GCWW shut down its intakes shortly before midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 14. The chemical, identified as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, was detected in an up stream river sample late Tuesday evening. GCWW has been collecting samples between Maysville, KY and Cincinnati.

How dangerous is the West Virginia chemical spill?

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