The Division of Water

John Newsome John Newsome, P.E., Administrator
Effective October 3, 2022 John Newsome became the Administrator of the Division of Water (DOW). He has a long history with the Department of Public Utilities, serving since 2006 in various capacities. Previously he was the Administrator of the Division of Sewerage & Drainage since January 2016 and has helped lead some of the largest capital projects in Columbus. He also served as the Assistant Administrator in the Division of Power where he helped create a first of its kind, long-term Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of more than $54 million to help better meet the needs of residents and businesses. He has worked as a Sewer Systems Engineering Sections Manager, served as a member of the Blueprint Columbus steering team and also served as the project manager to the OARS project, the largest CIP in the history of the city.

Division of Water services include:

  • Consumer services including the department's meter reading, repair, and inspections offices
  • Water treatment and distribution to Columbus residents and contracting communities through three water treatment plants (the Dublin Road, Hap Cremean and Parsons Avenue Water Treatment Plants)
  • Maintenance of the water distribution systems, plants and other related infrastructure
  • A capital improvements program to upgrade infrastructure and ensure adequate water supply
  • Water source protection programs, regulatory compliance and water quality monitoring
  • Water Treatment Process

Water Treatment Process
General Water Treatment Process is described with a cross-reference illustration. Columbus uses a complex multi-barrier approach utilizing state of the art equipment and the latest treatment technologies.

Water Distribution System
Last year, the Division of Water delivered over 53 billion gallons of drinking water with total daily water pumpage averaged 145.1 million gallons to to over 1.36 million residents for an average per-capita usage of 106 gallons per day.

Water Quality Assurance
The WQAL performs water quality monitoring and treatment research to ensure that Columbus drinking water meets or is better than all federally mandated Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards.

Columbus' Watershed Management Program
A high quality water supply source allows us to provide Columbus area residents with excellent drinking water at a reasonable cost. Our watershed program's focus is to protect our drinking water source and supply.

Wellfield Protection
This program focuses on the protection of groundwater, a drinking water source and supply located in southern Franklin County. Governed by Chapter 1115 of the Columbus City Code, specific precautions are required in the wellfield to ensure that the potential for contamination is minimized or eliminated.

Water Treatment History
"The Columbus Experiment" was known internationally and was the first water plant to combine filtration and water softening. View an historical timeline(PDF, 198KB) or the narrative text follows

Water Supply and Source Management History
In the 1870s the City of Columbus was a state capital nestled between the banks of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. As with most thriving communities at the time, the availability of water played a crucial role in the growth and prosperity of Columbus. Our leaders in Columbus have known for decades that the most important part of the water treatment process is protection of our water sources.

Keep It Clean
Prevent water pollution through everyday living with simple tips to keep our water clean.

Simple steps you can take at home such as:

  • disposal of household hazardous waste, yard waste (including pet waste) and cooking grease;
  • making simple lawn care choices
  • reducing stormwater runoff
  • maintaining cars & driveways properly
  • litter clean-ups & more

Water Facts

  • Less than 1% of the world's fresh water supply is available for human consumption.
  • Water is the original health beverage; it contains no fat, calories or cholesterol.
  • 60% of an adult's body is water.