Nightly News   |  January 15, 2014

Tainted Water Detected in Cincinnati

The coal processing chemical that made Charleston, W.V.’s water unusable has shown up in the Cincinnati area.

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>>> in west virginia that disrupted lives for hundreds of thousands of people. more than half of the customers have been given the okay to use it again. meanwhile, the chemical has been swept hundreds of miles down river now in the ohio river where it is being detected in the cincinnati river and beyond. we get our report tonight from our correspondent, anne thompson .

>> reporter: every hour, there is a special delivery , to the richard miller water treatment plant on cincinnati 's east side . inside the cooler, vials of water from the ohio water to be tested for the mchm, the coal processing chemical that made the tap water unusable in west virginia .

>> this breaks the tap water down to its original component.

>> reporter: is this at a level that is dangerous to human health ?

>> this is well below any type of health levels that are being talked about now.

>> reporter: still, cincinnati 's water intake valves from the river are closed as a precaution, and the city is using its reserves, even though the chemical had been severely diluted on its 200 mile journey. the authorities first detected the chemical thursday at freedom industries, where it traveled down river to the river, from the elk river , it was found in ohio, and the chemical was found in the drinking water there and several other intake drinking water areas. impacting thousands who make their lives along the water. down river in louisville, the water intake valves will remain open and the authorities will catch whatever chemical remains. back in charleston where some tap water still smells like licorice, the authorities urged the customers to keep flushing their faucets.

>> if there is additional coloration, we ask they flush and do that again.

>> reporter: now, officials here think the chemical plume will be gone tomorrow, certainly friday at the latest.

>> anne thompson , in kentucky, thank you.