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Ohio EPA Director Tours Greater Cincinnati Water Works’ Richard Miller Treatment Plant
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler visited the Richard Miller Treatment Plant today. Part of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works system, the Miller plant provides most of the water for the metropolitan area.
The city has made continuous upgrades to the facility over the decades, allowing the plant to maintain the most modern treatment methods in the country. The city also has a clearly defined and communicated source water protection protocol that not only serves to protect the city’s water supply, but also provides early alerts to plant operators, giving them ample time to react when spills occur upstream in the Ohio River.
“Cincinnati proves that good planning, maintenance and engaging stakeholders keeps water production moving even during emergencies. I commend the city for its leadership and forward-thinking approach to drinking water treatment,” Director Butler said.
“GCWW is proud of its role in providing a plentiful supply of the highest quality water at a reasonable cost to support the health and economic interests of the region. We looked forward to meeting with Director Butler, showing him what we do, and discussing ways to work even closer with the EPA to continue this work,” said Jeff Swertfeger, interim superintendent of Water Quality Management.
The Miller Plant was built nearly a century ago and used what was then state-of-the-art treatment technology – methods that are now considered conventional. Through the years, the city has continued to upgrade the plant as technology and treatment methods have evolved.
In late 2013, the city brought an ultraviolet (UV) disinfection system online, making it the largest water utility in the country to use UV disinfection. U.S. EPA considers UV disinfection one of the best technologies available to inactivate microorganisms and protect public health.
Greater Cincinnati Water Works supplies about 48 billion gallons of water annually through 3,000 miles of pipelines to 235,000 residential and commercial accounts. It serves all of Cincinnati, most of Hamilton County and parts of Butler and Warren counties in Ohio as well as Boone County and the city of Florence in Kentucky.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.