On Friday, the city of Cincinnati stated it would temporarily cease taking in water from the Ohio River, given the chemicals that were moving downstream due to the East Palestine train derailment.
Despite testing showing that the plume of contaminants from the East Palestine train derailment “completely dissipated,” the city of Cincinnati announced on Friday it will temporarily stop taking water from the Ohio River.
Intake of Water From the Ohio River Temporarily Halted
Officials in Cincinnati have said they will temporarily halt the intake of water from the Ohio River in an effort to be safe, rather than sorry.
The chemicals from the Ohio trail derailment has settled into the water and soil. This shows how prevalent the chemicals are and are in their water. 🥲 https://t.co/aMa2bwXDT3
— Sonoran4 (@KLCarpenter) February 16, 2023
Although testing had shown the plume of chemicals dissipated by now, the city still chose to switch to using water reserves as a precaution.
In a statement, city officials noted over 130 samples had been taken at the Ohio River water intake site and no detectable levels of the chemicals from the derailment had been found.
Despite this, they emphasized the importance of being cautious in order to ensure the safety of the city’s water supply.
Cincinnati City Manager Sheryl Long expressed confidence in the city’s decision to temporarily shut off the Ohio River intake, stating it was the best move to make.
Long emphasized that tapping into the water reserves would give everyone peace of mind and there is no chance of the reserves containing contaminants from the train derailment site.
Speaking at a news briefing, Governor Mike DeWine stated tests conducted on Ohio River waters revealed contaminants from the train derailment site reached three parts per billion on Thursday and were undetectable by Friday.
Ohio Governor Reassured the Public: “There is no cause for concern”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reassured the public during a news conference that the contamination caused by chemicals from the train derailment has been cleared.
Tests done on the Ohio River’s water showed that the contaminants were at three parts per billion on Thursday and reached zero on Friday, according to DeWine.
Speaking at a news conference, DeWine reassured the public that testing showed that contaminants from the train derailment were no longer present in Ohio River waters.
“There is no cause for concern regarding water from the Ohio River at this time,” he said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gives updates on trail derailment: "The water is safe to drink" pic.twitter.com/yQ7MrOrtkY
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) February 17, 2023
State officials had previously emphasized that any contaminants in the Ohio River would be removed through drinking water treatment processes.
On February 3, a Norfolk Southern train derailed and spilled toxic chemicals, including ethylhexyl acrylate, vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol mono butyl ether, and butyl acrylate, some of which entered local streams, killing fish and flowing down into the Ohio River.
Governor DeWine advised people to stay away from Sulphur Run, one of the closest streams to the site of the derailment, as remediation efforts take time. He stated the situation will require significant time and effort to fix.