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A guide to the Louisville Water Company

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Have you drank water today? (If you haven’t, this is your reminder to hydrate.) Maybe you enjoyed a latte from Quills Coffee or are looking forward to a sip of Rabbit Hole bourbon tonight. As we call closing time on Drink Up Week, we’re diving into the details of the company that makes all our favorite drinks possible: Louisville Water Company.

🚰 History

  • 1853: Louisville Water Company was chartered by a special act of the Kentucky State Legislature.
  • 1860: Louisville Water begins operations as Kentucky’s first public water provider.
  • 1879: Crescent Hill Reservoir opened to filter mud from the water cleaning process.
  • 1909: The Crescent Hill Treatment Plant opened.
  • 1917: US government sanitary service deems Louisville water “almost perfect.”
  • 1997: Louisville Water Company trademarked the term “Louisville pure tap.”
  • 2014: The new WaterWorks Museum opens to the public.
  • Now: The Louisville Water Company provides water to over 800,000 people in Louisville.

🚰 Treatment process

The mile wide stretch of the Ohio River that runs through Derby City is what Louisville Water is made from at two treatment plants — the Crescent Hill Water Treatment Plant + the B.E. Payne Treatment Plant. Did you know: Louisville Water is the first water utility in the world to source drinking water through a natural filtration process that combines a gravity tunnel with wells?

🚰 Uses

Our distilling + brewing industries are Louisville Water’s best friend. Kentucky bourbon distillers rely on Louisville Water’s quality-control scientists to monitor the water quality. For example, Louisville Water reduces the levels problematic metals — like iron, which can affect the barrel maturation process.

Water quality affects the beer brewers, too. Louisville’s reputation for good beer is partially owed to the high water quality. Louisville Water also provides brewers with chemistry reports to help them maintain a consistent profile.

🚰 Resources

Learn about water