Last Updated on February 19, 2023
A major metropolitan area in Ohio has made moves to shut off its Ohio River water intake following the East Palestine train derailment.
Local officials from Cincinnati announced they would temporarily be cutting off the city’s water intake from the Ohio River and are switching to water reserves.
The Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) announced the change Thursday, anticipating that hazardous chemicals from East Palestine will reach the city’s river intake by the end of the weekend, WCPO reported.
UPDATE: Greater Cincinnati Water Works is estimating that any anticipated contaminated water from East Palestine will likely pass through the Cincinnati area early Sunday morning. GCWW previously was estimating that arrival for Monday morning. https://t.co/PVQcuVU86r
— WCPO 9 (@WCPO) February 18, 2023
GCWW said in a statement the adjustments to the water supply were made “out of an abundance of caution.”
The city mayor, Aftab Pureval, said “we are taking this preventative step to ensure the health, safety, and confidence of residents.”
“I am proud of the swift action of Water Works and City Manager Long in stepping up to protect our families,” Pureval added.
“GCWW continues to work with the Ohio EPA, Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), and neighboring water utilities along the river to collect samples and perform additional analyses to assess any potential threat to our drinking water,” the statement noted.
Over 150 water samples have been tested to ensure no dangerous chemicals are in the water. Specifically, the tests aim to detect four different chemicals: butyl acrylate, vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, and ethylhexyl acrylate.
While those four chemicals were not found, a Sunday morning test detected 2-Ethyl-1-hexanol, a compound “commonly used in industrial applications including for flavorings and fragrances.”
However, the GCWW was unable to detect the exact concentration of the compound in the water.
The city water group assured it will continue to make sure the water supply is safe and healthy to use.
“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,” the group’s interim director, Verna Arnette wrote.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.