Monday, August 20, 2001

Boone Co. to tap Cincinnati water

Pipeline dug under Ohio River to meet Kentuckians' need

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A 3,000-foot, 36-inch pipeline will be dug under the river.
(Tony Jones photo)
| ZOOM |
        BOONE COUNTY — When the first water pipeline was built underneath the Ohio River a century ago, it was dug by hand and took three years to complete.

        The newest pipeline, which will bring about 60,000 Boone County residents water from the Cincinnati Water Works, will be dug with a drill and take less than a month.

        Work on the underground pipeline will begin in September and should be finished by month's end, Cincinnati water officials said. It is part of a $57 million project scheduled to have water flowing to Boone County homes by 2003.

        The cost of the project will be shared by the three parties: Cincinnati, Florence and Boone County. The decision was made more than three years ago to buy Cincinnati water because the rates are cheaper.

        The 3,000-foot-long pipeline, which is 36 inches in diameter and will cost $2.4 million to install, will run 30 feet beneath the Ohio River bed, basically following the path of the Anderson Ferry.

        “This is a very exciting project for us, but it is not the first Water Works tunnel under the Ohio River,” Water Works Director Dave Rager said.

        When the first tunnel was built in the 1890s, “the crews used compasses and some guesswork to guide their way,” he said. “That tunnel is in excellent condition, and we still use it today.”

        Tom Allen Construction Co. is installing the pipeline. Drilling will begin on the Ohio side with engineers using a method know as “horizontal directional drilling,” which allows them to guide the drill head under the river.

        Patterned after drilling done in oil fields, the method does not disturb surface terrain. It has been used for gas and water line installations under the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

        Boone County signed the 29-year agreement to meet the growing demand for water, officials said.


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