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Sewage isn't getting treated near the Mill Creek after MSD transformer failure

Bill Rinehart
Solid waste in a settling tank at MSD's Mill Creek treatment plant.

The sewage treatment plant along the Mill Creek is still without power, more than a day after a transformer failed. Metropolitan Sewer District reports the transformer was new, and one of two on site. The other is offline, in the process of being replaced.

MSD says in a statement, the "catastrophic" failure came after a power failure and a surge. Inspections found the failure damaged some "large and specialized high-voltage equipment" beyond repair. The cause of the failure is still under investigation.

Partially treated and untreated waste has been released into the Mill Creek and the Ohio River since Sunday.

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A spokesperson says local drinking water is not threatened. The intake valves for Greater Cincinnati Water Works are far upstream of the treatment plant.

Several portable generators are expected to arrive Monday evening. MSD says they should be operational by Tuesday afternoon, bringing either part or the entire plant back on-line.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.