On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at the Regular Meeting of Hamilton City Council, the City of Hamilton was presented with a “certificate of recognition” by the Ohio EPA. This certificate recognizes the Hamilton Water System for exceptional implementation of drinking water source protection strategies, since the initiation of its endorsed program, in 1998.
Source Water Protection is a federal program, administered by Ohio EPA, to assist public water systems like Hamilton’s to protect their source 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 been involved with source water protection for almost 50 years, as a member of the Hamilton to New Baltimore Ground Water Consortium. The Consortium, established in 1967, was originally focused on water quantity issues; however, in 1980, it began actively examining ground water quality issues as well.
In 1991, the Consortium, comprised of seven major public, private and industrial ground water producers in southern Butler and northern Hamilton Counties, began working on a joint ground water protection program, known as the Source Water Protection Program. 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 the most notable protective strategies the City and the Consortium have been involved in include:
- Water Sampling – The Ohio EPA requires regular water sampling to ensure drinking water safety. The City conducted well water quality sampling in 2014 and test results of water samples collected were below maximum contaminant levels established by the US EPA.
- 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. The Consortium Manager, along with representatives of the Consortium members, also makes presentations to local schools, civic groups and public officials.
- Collaboration with Other Local Governments and Organizations- The Consortium is made up of public members (City of Hamilton, City of Fairfield, Butler County Water and Sewer, Southwest Regional Water District, Greater Cincinnati Water Works), private members (Southwestern Ohio Water Company and MillerCoors). All members share in the operational expenses of the Consortium and are represented on the Board and committees.
For more information on the Consortium, go to the following website:www.gwconsortium.org.
As a further testimony to the quality of the Hamilton Water System, the City was awarded the GOLD MEDAL for the “Best Tasting Tap Water in the World” from the 25th Annual Berkeley Spring International Water Tasting, which was held on February 19-22, 2015, in Berkeley Springs, WV. This marks the second time that Hamilton has won this prestigious and highly coveted award within the last five years. The City of Hamilton previously won the 2010 GOLD MEDAL as the Best Tasting Tap Water in the World and the 2009 SILVER MEDAL as the Second Best Tasting Tap Water in the World and the Best Tasting Tap Water in the U.S. Additionally, Hamilton has won numerous other tasting awards in the past, for its tap water, including the 2012, 2013 and 2014 “Best of the Best” award, by the Ohio Section of the American Water Works Association, for the best tasting tap water in Ohio.
John Bui, Water Production Superintendent for the City of Hamilton, credited the tremendous effort and hard work of the Consortium, the support of the City Administration, and Water Production personnel for this honor. “The City and Consortium along with the entire Water Department staff are to be congratulated for their efforts in receiving this ‘certificate of recognition’ from the Ohio EPA. Our staff works tirelessly to produce the highest quality and finest tasting water for our customers. And this certificate is a fitting acknowledgment of that effort,” Bui said.
The City of Hamilton owns and operates all four of the primary utilities in the City, including electric (generation, transmission and distribution), natural gas (distribution), water (treatment and distribution) and water reclamation (collection and treatment) systems. The City continues to be one of the lowest cost providers of all utility services in the Region and the State.