Photo Video
Prev
W.Va. chemical flows through Cincinnati Chemical to bring distinct smell to the region Polluted water headed our way
Next

Chemical leak from West Virginia arrives in the Tri-State

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Experts: More questions than answers about spill

CINCINNATI -- A chemical leak from West Virginia made its way to the Tri-State late Tuesday night by way of the Ohio River, according to Cincinnati Water Works.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works said the chemical was identified in an upstream river sample late Tuesday evening. The sample came from the water at Meldahl dam, about 25 miles upstream from the city's treatment plant.

GCWW has been collecting samples between Maysville, Ky. and Cincinnati. They will continue to monitor the water until the chemical fully passes through our area. They expect the spill to pass within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Experts said residents won’t need to see the pollution to know it’s there: They can smell it.

Officials said it has a distinct licorice smell -- but it is not impacting the region’s drinking water.

"We have asked the people at the locks and dams to report to us when they smell it,” said Jerry Schulte of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission Tuesday. “We had a report, actually, from Maysville. They smelled it at 5 a.m."

Cincinnati Water Works shut off valves that carrying the water into the area at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday and are useing water reserves, as well as water from upstream of the Ohio, until officials deem the water safe from the chemical, Crude MCHM, or 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol.

Crude MCHM, which few scientists were familiar with before the discovery of the spill last week, cleans impurities like sulfur and other pollutants from coal during its processing. Its leak left hundreds of thousands of West Virginians without tap water and with lots of unanswered questions.

When the chemical arrived in the Cincinnati area, it traveled more than 200 miles. The river is moving at 3 mph, which is considered fast.

According to officials, the pollution should only spend about 20 hours in the Tri-State before heading toward Kentucky's largest city.

"I am beginning to work the City of Louisville and the water utility of Louisville to see what type of support we can provide them," Schulte said.

Schulte said water contamination events like this happen about every ten years.

RELATED: Read a full breakdown of the chemical leak and what local experts have to say

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Local News
Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man
Police: Missing teen may be with Milford man

Police believe a 28-year-old man from the Milford area may have information about the whereabouts of a missing southwest Ohio teenager.

Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2
Homer Bailey, Reds win again at Wrigley, 8-2

Homer Bailey pitched six scoreless innings at friendly Wrigley Field for his first win of the season and Jay Bruce homered and…

One death saves six lives, creates family bonds
One death saves six lives, creates family bonds

A liver. For him. Finally. A groggy Don Van Zant glanced at the clock when he picked up the phone Oct. 10, 2012. His life was saved as others…

Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified
Driver in Evendale high-speed chase identified

What started out as a traffic stop turned into a serious crash that closed a part of Glendale-Milford Road early Sunday morning.

Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale
Police ID man found shot to death in Avondale

Cincinnati police released the identity of the man they found shot to death in the 3100 block of Reading Road Sunday.

Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'
Jimmy Gibson cooks up 'food with no attitude'

At the helm of his namesake eatery Jimmy G's, Gibson entered his profession for the love of food and found a foodie following in the Tri-State.

Crews continue search for clues in Markham case
Crews continue search for clues in Markham case

Searchers once again combed through a tree-covered creek bed in eastern Indiana on Saturday trying to find the clues they need to answer the…

10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State
10 types of beards you'll see in the Tri-State

Is it just us, or are beards (and other forms of facial hair) making a comeback in the Tri-State? WCPO decided to explore the issue.…

LifeSpring Christian: 3 churches, one mission
LifeSpring Christian: 3 churches, one mission

In this week's "Where We Pray," learn about a local church that combines the mission and resources of a large congregation with…

Cincy kids author turns science into adventure
Cincy kids author turns science into adventure

Many a parent and teacher have tried to bring science alive for children. Writer Mary Kay Carson aims to bring lessons to life by injecting…