Water to Spare

Officials from Cincinnati, Florence and Boone County sealed a deal on March 12 for water service to cross the river from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky. Last year, Florence and Boone County determ

Officials from Cincinnati, Florence and Boone County sealed a deal on March 12 for water service to cross the river from Cincinnati to Northern Kentucky.

Last year, Florence and Boone County determined that a supplemental water source would be needed in the next few years to meet the increasing needs of a growing population.

The agreement will provide water to more than 60,000 city and county residents for 25 years starting in 2003.

The interlocal agreement has been hailed by regional activists as a project that demonstrates increasing regional cooperation.

There will be a four-year construction period to build a 36-inch water main that must be tunneled under the Ohio River. Cincinnati will build and maintain the pipes needed to pump the 20 million gallons of water every day to the other side of the river.

The expected cost of the project is $57 million.

The sale of water allows Cincinnati Water Works to maintain reasonable rates and high-quality water for its Ohio consumers by spreading its fixed and regulatory compliance costs across a large customer base, city officials said.

Is the Boone County water going to be coming from the Richard Miller Treatment Plant on Kellogg Avenue in California, which has a high-tech carbon-filtration system, or the CM Bolton Plant located in the northwest corner of Butler County?

Bill Knecht, superintendent of business planning and development at Cincinnati Water Works said that the water being sold to Florence and Boone County will come from the California Treatment Plant.

"In fact, it's important to Northern Kentucky that it does," he said.

How is taking that much water from the California plant going to affect Ohio consumers?

"We have an adequate supply to provide for both Ohio consumers and our new consumers across the river," Knecht said.

He said that because the California plant is so large, there will be no need to pump more water out of the Bolton Plant, which uses water from the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer. A portion of that aquifer, under the former Fernald uranium-processing plant, has been contaminated with uranium, though officials there say they have the contaminated plume contained.

"(The Boone County) project will in no way jeopardize the amount of water we provide to the area," he said.

How well is the Bolton Plant performing?

"We feel it is in excellent shape," Knecht said. "We continue to work with (the Groundwater Consortium) monitoring wells."

He said that the Fernald site has not impacted the aquifer or water quality.

"We will increase the level of monitoring we do in the coming year so if that kind of problem would arise, we would know about it right away," he said.

Selective Compassion
Officials from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) want to show compassion for all living creatures — except Procter & Gamble Co. Chairman John Pepper.

Pepper has taken pies in the face from PETA twice — in February 1998 while accepting an award for his work with and support for Ohio schools, and last month while he was in the middle of giving the keynote speech at the Kellogg Marketing Conference at Northwestern University.

A news release issued last week by PETA praised several leaders in science and the arts throughout history. PETA praised these leaders "not for environmental, health or sentimental reasons, but out of compassion for their fellow earthlings."

The statement also celebrated the March 14 birthday of Albert Einstein for being a champion of animals and quoted him talking about the importance of "widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures."

Does PETA think that repeatedly throwing pies in Pepper's face, when he is doing something like getting an award for his work with schoolchildren, is compatible with this philosophy of compassion for all living creatures?

"We have no problem embarrassing someone," said Jason Baker, PETA's cruelty-free campaign coordinator.

Baker said the pie-throwing was the next step in PETA's 10-year attempt to work with P&G to eliminate animal testing.

"We used embarrassment and humiliation of John Pepper and Procter & Gamble as a last resort," he said.

Despite reports that Ingrid Newkirk, PETA president, has agreed to an end to the pie-throwing, Baker said the group might continue, depending on what P&G does to end animal testing.

"Provided we actually see something from them, we'll cease fire," Baker said.