Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Greater Cincinnati Water Works has a back-up plan in case of disaster. In fact, the water district has several redundancies either ready to go or are nearing completion.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

After months of feuding over a plan to raise water rates for certain county communities, townships and unincorporated areas, Cincinnati and Hamilton County say they have a deal.

drinking water
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The Metropolitan Sewer District will begin accepting applications for a newly approved Customer Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP offers a 25% discount to low-income senior citizens who meet certain criteria.

The iconic Mt. Airy water tanks are a City Council vote away from being an historic landmark.  

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A Hamilton County Judge is, for now, blocking Cincinnati from raising water rates in unincorporated parts of Hamilton County.  

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Hamilton County has gone to court over a plan to raise water rates in unincorporated communities. Commissioners asked for a temporary restraining order to block Cincinnati Water Works from raising rates until a task force can finish a study.

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Hamilton County commissioners say they'll continue to press Cincinnati leaders to relent on a plan to increase water rates for certain county communities, townships and unincorporated areas.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

There's a new fight brewing between Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The two governments have battled over control of the Metropolitan Sewer District for years, and the latest argument is from the other end: water.

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It has been discussed for years, and starting in January Greater Cincinnati Water Works customers will get their bills monthly instead of quarterly.

Water Works Director Cathy Bailey said elected officials and customers have been asking for the change for years.

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Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) Director Cathy Bernardino Bailey started her career at the Water Works in 1992 as a chemist. She is now responsible for more than 600 full-time staff and an operational budget of approximately $32 million.

Officials with Cincinnati Water Works are gearing up for a 15-year project to replace remaining lead service lines in the city.  

City council approved the plan in October and work will begin in May.  

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Greater Cincinnati Water Works wants to change the way it's replacing lead service lines to some homes and businesses in the city.

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The Greater Cincinnati Water Works has sent out 1,543 test kits so residents can check the lead level in their drinking water. So far, 853 have been analyzed and 21 properties have levels that are concerning.  

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The Greater Cincinnati Water Works recently sent letters to more than 16,000 property owners letting them know their homes and businesses may be getting water through a lead service line.  

Jeff Swertfeger with Water Works says the city is replacing lines when doing other work.

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Cincinnati officials estimate that some 16,000 private properties are still getting water through lead lined pipes.  

The city will soon be notifying those owners in writing about the issue. Council approved a motion Wednesday for such notifications.  

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A harmful blue-green algae bloom is still plaguing the Ohio River, and a Kentucky biologist says it doesn't look like that will change soon. 

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When Cincinnati Council approves the city budget next week, it most likely will include a five percent water rate increase.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works Director Tony Parrott the five percent increase is the bare minimum amount needed to keep up the system.

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Hamilton County commissioners are downplaying Cincinnati city manager Harry Black's announcement that Greater Cincinnati Water Works will no longer share certain administrative functions with the Metropolitan Sewer District. 

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Cincinnati’s city manager has announced the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) and the Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) will no longer share administrative services.

Sarah Ramsey

So far the city is saving money by merging the administrative functions of the Greater Cincinnati Water Works, the Metropolitan Sewer District and the stormwater utility.  

A council committee got an update Tuesday.  

The savings right now is projected to be $55 million during the next decade.  That is less than the initial feasibility study suggested, but officials are still crunching the numbers.  

Director Tony Parrott said so far, so good.

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