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Cincinnati water valves reopen after chemical plume

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Cincinnati and Southern Ohio water is safe now with the chemical plume from the Elk River spill passing down the river. The city of Cincinnati reopened their intake valves Thursday afternoon after the latest water samples were clear.

The water quality team had not detected the chemical in the Ohio River samples since 4 a.m. Thursday morning according to Tony Parrott, director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW).

The West Virginia spill affected hundreds of thousands residents in the Charleston area. The spill caused a ban on tap water for nearly a week many who didn't even know why they were restricted. On Monday, many water customers were using water again but had to run their taps for an hour to flush out plumbing.

Residence that smelled the strong odor of licorice had coughing, nausea, and headaches immediately. Some people had to go to the emergency room for treatment. The government does not know the health affects of the chemical exposure but as one man proved it would be safe to be near a flame. The water literally caught on fire.

By Tuesday, Jan. 14, water customers were told they could begin using their water again. Crude MCHM is used in the coal mining business for coal washing and preparation. The CDC says the chemical is safe at levels under 1 ppm.

Superintendent of Water Quality and Treatment said the levels on Jan. 16 were under what the CDC says is safe, according to Debbie Metz. The water Cincinnati was using came from a golf course pond, a 60 hour resource when intakes must be closed. The government is investigating the incident.

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