SEI Utilities Safe From Chemical Contamination
By Mike Perleberg
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Contaminated water from a West Virginia chemical spill won’t be flowing through Dearborn County pipelines.
The toxic chemical methycyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, leaked into the Elk River – a tributary of the Kanawha River which flows into the Ohio River – forcing about 300,000 residents in West Virginia to go without tap water for about a week. Hundreds of schools and businesses had to close because of the resulting health concern.
The chemical plume has been making its way down the Ohio River. Many residents in communities have been wondering whether their drinking water will remain safe.
Utility companies in Lawrenceburg, Greendale, and Hidden Valley say their water supply is the underground aquifer, not the Ohio River, so there’s no risk of contamination.
“Valley Rural Utility Company customers are not affected by the chemical spill in the Ohio River. We get our water from well fields that draw from aquifers. Greendale Utilities and Tri-Township Water Corporation are our suppliers,” said Floyd Ogden, the general manager of VRUC, which manages utilities for the Hidden Valley community.
A spokesperson for Rising Sun Municipal Utilities told Eagle 99.3 that its water also comes from underground wells. Absolutely no water is from the river, the person said.
The City of Cincinnati does get some water from the Ohio River. The city’s waterworks shut off its river intakes Tuesday night to prevent the risk of MCHM from getting into the drinking water supply.