How Cincy Works: The Secret to the Best Damn Tap Water in the Land

Bring it, Brita.

For our June 2015 issue, we explore (and try to explain) the ins and outs of the Queen City.

The world’s best-tasting municipal water is, oddly enough, tasteless. In fact, that’s what the judges of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting competition look for—a clean, pure product. And this past February, the City of Hamilton took home tap water’s highest honor for the third time since 2009. The man to thank for this high quality H2O is John Bui, water production superintendent of Hamilton’s South Water Treatment Plant. Here, he oversees a process similar to that of other municipalities, save for one key difference in the final step: Just before getting pumped through roughly 300 miles of pipes, the water is disinfected with chlorine dioxide, a complex and potentially explosive chemical compound that must be manufactured on-site by chemists with technical savvy. “We’ve been using it all these years,” says Bui, a 23-year veteran of the plant. “We’re pretty good at it.”

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