Is our drinking water safe? Chemical spills alarm protectors

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 4:48 PM

Sherwin Williams Fire 1987

It’s been three decades since firefighters avoided spraying water on a burning Sherwin Williams warehouse filled with 1.5 million gallons of paint and other chemicals out of fear it would contaminate the giant aquifer that serves up to three million customers.

Nothing of that magnitude has happened since, but officials say it wouldn’t take a major industrial accident like the Sherwin-Williams fire to contaminate part of the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer that sits below most of this region.

A train car derailment, auto crash or leaky underground petroleum tank could do it. Even chemicals from firefighting foam has proven to be a threat here locally.

RELATED: Dayton urges communities to push Wright-Patt to take action on water

A Dayton Daily News investigation publishing Sunday found the vulnerability of the water supply is being tested on virtually a daily basis, requiring better coordination between institutions and more awareness in the public about the critical need to protect the region’s water.

Miami Valley residents often take clean water for granted, presuming the local supply is as endlessly abundant as the air they breathe.

Water well field at Huffman Dam is operated by the city of Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Staff Writer)

But while officials say the water in the region remains safe to drink, hundreds of chemical spills in recent years have caused alarm.

Sunday’s investigation will published in the Dayton Daily News and be found on


RELATED: Secrets of Dayton’s blue lagoon revealed

RELATED: Dayton urges communities to push Wright-Patt to take action on water

RELATED: Ohio EPA orders Dayton to take action on groundwater concerns

RELATED: Dayton: Contaminated sites could pose risk to Mad River well fields

Trending - Most Read Stories

Area students head to D.C. to march for gun control 

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 1:05 AM

Dayton students head to D.C. to march for gun control 

A group of students from the Dayton area left Friday night, headed to Washington, D.C., to march in the nation's capital Saturday in the name of gun control.

>> Hundreds gather in Dayton for gun violence rally

The students have a grueling itinerary, leaving from Englewood by bus Friday night, riding by bus through the night and arriving in Washington around 9 a.m. They’ll return early Sunday after another overnight bus ride.

“We want action and we want prevention,” said Sammy Caruso, an Oakwood High School student who coordinated the trip. 

Oakwood students spent their Friday night making signs in preparation for their trip. They’ll join other teens from all over the country in what’s being called the “March for our Lives.”

It’s a push for tougher gun laws in the wake of the most recent mass shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. 

“I think marches are one of the best ways we can get people involved,” said Caruso. 

>> Flames shoot from vacant house in Dayton

Students from several schools in the Miami Valley boarded the bus, along with some parents and teachers who also are along for the trip. 

Caruso said he lost a friend in the Parkland shooting, so he said this issue is personal for him. 

“I really felt like I needed to do something about it, I couldn’t just watch this happen, see something that happened to my friend ... I need to do as much as I can,” he said. 

>> Reward offered after dog found burned to death in Dayton

“We want our congressmen to know that we’re sick of it, and if they’re not going to have any action, we’re going to demand it.” 

In Dayton, a March for Our Lives event is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Courthouse Square downtown.

Got a tip? Call our 24-hour monitored line, 937-259-2237, or send it to

Trending - Most Read Stories

Snow hits Butler County; Winter Weather Advisory in effect

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 1:03 PM

Snow covers a statue on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Butler County until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Snow covers a statue on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton. A winter weather advisory has been issued for Butler County until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday throughout Butler County, according to the National Weather Service.

>> PHOTOS: Another taste of winter in Butler County

The area is receiving snow right now, but it’s not sticking to most roads. Area police agencies are reporting no major accidents or delays. Traffic along Interstate 75 through Butler and Warren counties was traveling at the speed limit as of noon.

The NWS said wet snow is expected through the region with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Motorists should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility, and use caution while driving.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Most escape accumulating snow, but not Butler County

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 5:37 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has the latest on who could see snow today and how warm we get tomorrow.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect until 2 a.m. Sunday in Butler County.


  • Few see snow, most stay dry
  • Accumulating snow stays to the south
  • Passing snow showers likely in Preble, Butler, Warren counties

>> PHOTOS: Another taste of winter in area


Today: Highs will be in the low 40s on this mostly cloudy day with gusty winds of around 25 mph. Passing showers move in during the day mixing with snow and possibly some rain in the afternoon. Best chance for this is south of Interstate 70. Snow totals will be limited and MOST of the Miami Valley will see nothing stick today. Butler County is under Winter Weather Advisory where 1 to 3 inches could fall. The Dayton area might see a dusting on grassy surfaces and north of that will have a pretty quiet. Looks like the Miami Valley dodges the heaviest bands of snow, which will stay to our south. Temperatures climb to around 40 degrees. Clouds decrease tonight and we drop to the mid-20s.

>>5-Day Forecast

Sunday: It will be a beautiful end to the weekend. We will see highs in the mid to upper 40s. Dry and sunny!

Monday: We see a nice start to the new week with temperatures close to normal with highs in the low to middle 50s. Clouds increase in the evening.

Tuesday: Scattered rain showers will develop with highs in the upper 50s feeling mild and breezy.

Wednesday: Scattered showers continue in the morning. We will see some late day sunshine with highs around 60 degrees.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Police: Mother accused of drinking in car, firing gun while kids in backseat

Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

Davona Chavez
Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office
Davona Chavez(Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office)

A domestic dispute led to a woman's arrest in Albuquerque Thursday, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

Davona Chavez, 21, was allegedly upset because her ex-boyfriend accused her of damaging his girlfriend's car, KOB reported. She allegedly told police that she had a few shots of Hennessy, put her three children in the backseat of her car and drove off. 

At some point, Chavez allegedly stopped the car in the middle of the road and fired a shot in the air, police said. No one was injured. An officer who heard the shot followed Chavez and arrested her, KOB reported. 

Chavez is being held without bond, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office.

Trending - Most Read Stories