Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Clermont reopens treatment plant

By Jenny Callison
Enquirer Contributor

        BATAVIA — Starting today, water will flow again from the Bob McEwen Water Treatment Plant to customers in Clermont County.

        When some residents saw brown water coming from their taps last summer, county officials investigated and found that the naturally occurring manganese in Harsha Lake was reacting with chemicals used at the plant to treat the lake water. That chemical reaction produced discoloration.

        This winter the county took the McEwen plant out of service while water experts studied and modified the water treatment process.

        “It's an aesthetic problem. Manganese is not a health threat,” said Tom Yeager, operations administrator for the county's sewer district. “You'll find manganese in vitamins. But it can cause staining in laundry and plumbing fixtures.”

        Mr. Yeager said that the problem will be cleared up by removing manganese from the water before treatment.

        Customers in the affected areas of Batavia and Stone lick townships can look forward to getting their Harsha Lake drinking water back when the plant resumes service today. But Mr. Yeager warns that there may be a few lingering problems.

        Restarting the plant will cause changes in the direction and force of the water in the mains throughout the system. Remaining manganese residue in the mains could produce slight discoloration at first.

        To minimize the problem, the county has been flushing water mains before restarting the plant, said Kim Siefert of OMI Inc., the company that handles Clermont County water treatment.

        “We've been flushing the mains all week. Hopefully this process will be complete” by today, she said.

        “We want people to work with us and call us if they have problems.”

        To learn more about the corrective water treatment measures, residents can check out Clermont County's Web site at www.co.clermont.oh.us and click on the “drinking water” button on the home page. To report problems, call OMI at 753-3080.


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