Monday, January 25th, 2016

Our Greater Cincinnati Water Works (and “works” well!)

We’ve been closely following the developing story on the Flint, MI water crisis. After reading the in-depth news reports, we are thankful for the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) — it’s one of the finest in the nation. A trip through their web site (http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/water/about-greater-cincinnati-water-works) is time well spent.

Unlike our northern water utility neighbors in Flint, the GCWW strongly believes in its mission: “To provide customers within our regional communities a plentiful supply of the highest quality water and excellent services.” But to be fair, a water works is only as successful as it’s host community. The Greater Cincinnati area enjoys a more robust local economy than Flint, MI – a city that has been in receivership for the past few years. When a community has extensive financial challenges, services such as local water utilities quickly lose funding. Necessary upgrades cannot be funded (e.g., water main replacements) and the local residents suffer the consequences.

In the Greater Cincinnati area, our municipal water supply meets or exceeds all federal standards. At Allied Reddi-Rooter, we tip our hat to the GCWW for their work in ensuring that Cincinnatians have safe water.

GCWW & The City of Cincinnati – A Strong Relationship
The GCWW, purchased by the City of Cincinnati in 1839, has been a municipally owned and operated utility for over 175 years. In that time, the GCWW has thoughtfully built one of the country’s best water systems. A few highlights, from their web site:

• GCWW is a leader in water quality research and applying water-clarifying technology in the name of protecting public health. GCWW is often “featured nationally for state-of-the-art water treatment and research. To ensure the highest quality drinking water, [GCWW tests] the water more than 600 times a day from the source through treatment and in the distribution system”.
• GCWW supplies more than 48 billion gallons of water a year through 3,000 miles of water mains to about 235,000 residential and commercial accounts.
• The GCWW’s service area includes the City of Cincinnati, much of Hamilton County and areas within Ohio’s Butler and Warren counties and Boone County, Kentucky and Florence, Kentucky (thanks, pipeline under the river!).

Continuous Improvement – Pipes Must Be Replaced
The water source is just one component of clean drinking water. The pipes that carry the water from the treatment plant to your tap are another.

To help ensure that treated water remains safe to the tap, the GCWW has 7 “major projects” underway now that focus on water main upgrades. GCWW posts it’s schedule for major water main updates on their site – 7 major improvements are underway now, from Clifton to Colerain Ave and points nearby.

Water Treatment – More Important than the Source
For the residents of Flint, MI, the drinking water originates in the Flint River. According to a recent article published by the National Review, “Flint has relatively high levels of lead in its drinking water, a cause for legitimate concern. This is a result not so much of the source of its drinking water, the Flint River, as of the city’s failure to treat the water, which, without the proper additives, leaches lead and other contaminants from pipes. (read more at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430072/flint-lead-water-scandal)

GCWW supplies water from two primary sources:
• 88% of local water is supplied by the Miller Treatment Plant – This plant treats surface water from the Ohio River.
• 12% (the Butler County portion) is supplied by the Bolton Treatment Plant – this plant treats groundwater from 10 wells in the Great Miami Aquifer.

Leaks Cost as Much as Usage
One of our favorite pages on the GCWW web site describes the cost leaks – they not only waste the water we purchase from the GCWW, they can also cause expensive damage. This GCWW states it bluntly: “Please note that no reduction in water charges will be made for leakage.” Yep, that’s a clear position.

Leaks such as these can quickly add hundreds of dollars to your water bill. The table below provides insight:

GCWW-chart

Toilets are the greatest water consumer in one’s homes. Typically, toilet leaks are either inside the tank (trouble with the internal components) or an improper seating issue (water is leaking from the tank into the bowl).

Water You Waiting For? If your water is leaking down the drain, the professionals at Allied Reddi-Rooter are an excellent investment. They can identify leaks and stop them fast – in most cases with just one service call. It’s likely the cost of the service call can be recouped within 1-2 GCWW billing periods – a much faster ROI than many home repairs. Call Ray today (513) 396-5300.