During Jim Beam’s recent warehouse fire in Woodford County, liquid from the 45 thousand barrels of early aging bourbon flowed into the Kentucky River. The bourbon spill made its way today into the Ohio River but we do not consider it a public health issue. Louisville Water Company’s water quality team is treating this like we do any other spill on the Ohio River – developing our own sampling, monitoring and analysis plan. Our focus will be making sure we protect the taste of our water. While we tout that we are bourbon’s best friend, we prefer our water to be the start of a great drink instead of the bourbon being a part of our source water, the Ohio River.
Water quality scientist were on the Ohio River Monday taking samples, which will help us determine if we’ll need to alter our treatment strategy. Only five percent of the Ohio River is comprised of water from the Kentucky River. The billions of gallons of water flowing in the Ohio River should help dilute the bourbon spill before it drifts past our intake valves. Our water quality team will continue sampling and monitoring to determine the best course of action as the bourbon spill passes.