GCWW Launches UV Treatment Facility

City officials cut the ribbon

Water Works Launches UV Disinfection Treatment Facility

Greater Cincinnati Water Works Is Largest Utility In North America To Use UV Following Sand Filtration & Granular Activated Carbon

The City of Cincinnati and Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) began operations today of a $30 million state-of-the-art Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection Treatment Facility. GCWW is now the largest water utility in North America to use UV disinfection following sand filtration and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) absorption.

The 19,600 square foot UV facility located at GCWW’s Richard Miller Treatment Plant on Kellogg Avenue, will further enhance water quality and protect against microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium.

"Cincinnati's renowned water is about to get even cleaner,” said Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls. “Investing in water technology not only produces safe drinking water, it can yield multiple benefits including cleaner air and a healthier community.”

“This is a very important day in the City of Cincinnati,” said Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. “This UV Disinfection Treatment Facility is greatly needed to address the changing conditions of the Ohio River and maintain compliance with the next round of US EPA Safe Drinking Water Regulations. The addition of UV disinfection will provide a state-of-the-art multi-barrier treatment process to enhance our water quality and further protect the public’s health.”

GCWW began working with national and international scientists and water technology experts in the early 2000s to determine the best available technology to enhance the utility’s water treatment system.

“Our mission is to provide customers within our regional communities a plentiful supply of the highest quality water and excellent services,” said Tony Parrott, Joint Utility Director for GCWW and the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati. “We are excited to launch this new innovative treatment so that we can continue to provide the highest quality water possible.”

UV light occurs naturally and in high intensity levels can disinfect microorganisms that are resistant to chlorine.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has designated UV disinfection as a “Best Available Technology” to protect against Cryptosporidium and Giardia. UV disinfection is 99.9 percent effective. It does not use chemicals or produce significant levels of regulated disinfection by-products (DPB’s).

UV disinfection will be used following sand filtration and Granular Activated Carbon adsorption during GCWW’s water treatment process. Sand filtration removes large particles from source water while GAC removes organic substances such as pharmaceuticals.

In effort to reduce GCWW’s carbon footprint, the UV facility will include 198 solar panels. When coupled with a second solar installation on an existing GCWW facility, the panels will create enough energy each year to:

  • Offset 35,200 gallons of gasoline emissions – equivalent to about 65 cars
  • Generate about 445,000 Kwh (kilowatt) of energy - enough to power about 40 homes
  • Save between $40,000 - $110,000 in electricity costs

The new UV facility will feature eight medium pressure Calgon Carbon Sentinel® 48-inch Chevron UV reactors. Each reactor will contain five UV bulbs. Following GAC filtration, water will flow through the UV reactors to be disinfected.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works provides a plentiful supply of high quality water through nearly 3,000 miles of water main to more than 1.1 million people in parts of Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont Counties in Ohio and Boone County in Northern Kentucky.

  • GCWW's new UV Disinfection Facility off Kellogg Road
    GCWW's new UV Disinfection Facility off Kellogg Road
  • The state-of-the-art units will make drinking water safer for GCWW's customers
    The state-of-the-art units will make drinking water safer for GCWW's customers
  • This model shows how water passes through the UV units
    This model shows how water passes through the UV units
  • The facility puts Cincinnati on the cutting edge of clean water technology
    The facility puts Cincinnati on the cutting edge of clean water technology
  • City leaders cut the ribbon to ceremonially open the new facility
    City leaders cut the ribbon to ceremonially open the new facility