Article courtesy of News Staff | June 20, 2015 | Journal-News | Shared as educational material
Earlier this month, the city of Hamilton received a certificate of recognition from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for “exceptional implementation of drinking water source protection strategies,” according to a press release issued by the city on Saturday.
The federal program Source Water Protection, which is administered by Ohio EPA, sets out to assist public water systems in protecting the sources of drinking water. The Hamilton Water System’s drinking water source is groundwater, which is pumped from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer.
The city of Hamilton has owned and operated its water system since 1884, and has been involved with source water protection for nearly 50 years. The city is a member of the Hamilton to New Baltimore Ground Water Consortium, which was established in 1967 and focused on water quantity issues. The consortium turned its attention as well to examining ground water quality issues.
The Hamilton Water System and the consortium have implemented innovative source water protection strategies that have evolved with its Source Water Protection Program. Some of those include:
• Water sampling — The Ohio EPA requires regular water sampling to ensure drinking water safety.
• Public education and outreach — The city and the consortium annually lead or participate in a number of public activities, including the Butler County Children’s Water Festival, Great Miami River Clean Sweep, and Earth Day celebrations, as well as displays at the Butler County Fair and local business expos.
• Collaboration with other local governments and organizations — The consortium is made up of public members (Hamilton, Fairfield, Butler County Water and Sewer, Southwest Regional Water District, and Greater Cincinnati Water Works) and private members (Southwestern Ohio Water Company and MillerCoors).