Louisville Water Company says safe to drink water - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville Water Company says safe to drink water

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Kelley Dearing-Smith Kelley Dearing-Smith
A Louisville Water Company treatment facility. A Louisville Water Company treatment facility.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - West Virginia banned residents from using the water and Cincinnati closed the valves. The MCHM chemical spill is expected to be in Louisville sometime Friday, but the Louisville Water Company isn't panicking.

The chemical is hazardous and carries a licorice-type odor, but LWC says residents shouldn't worry. By the time it reaches Louisville, the chemical will be very diluted.

"This is not a health concern," said Kelley Dearing-Smith of Louisville Water. "This will be a very, very, small dilution of the compound. Probably parts per billion, one part per billion."

The leaked chemical was originally a 60 mile plume. While Cincinnati closed its water valves to be safe, Louisville Water said it won't need to because the water has to travel 140 miles and the trip will make the chemical minuscule.

"We immediately go into a mode of analyzing the river conditions, you look at travel time," Dearing-Smith said. "One of the really good things about the Ohio River is it's a massive body of water so every day 75 billion gallons of water go by us."

Louisville Water says they test the water every day, multiple times a day, and they have two treatment facilities – one in Crescent Hill and another in Prospect - that eliminate the need to close the valves.

"We're taking Ohio River water that naturally comes into the aquifer, goes down 70 feet, it's cleaned, it's filtered through the sand and gravel and the limestone in the earth and then we're pulling it up to our treatment plant." Dearing-Smith said. "We will start testing for this particular compound. We've already calibrated our devices, we have samples of the compound, we're doing taste and odor panels, and we will start to test upriver tomorrow and look at the levels."

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