About Public Utilities

Kristen Atha

Director Kristen Atha began her role as Director of Public Utilities May 9, 2022, bringing over 30 years of experience working with municipal utilities on complex infrastructure challenges across the Midwest. She most recently served as Vice President, US West Region, Water Market Sector Leader, at AECOM in Columbus. Atha has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Miami University, as well as a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati.

Her leadership experience will direct the power, water and sewer divisions, in addition to sustainability efforts, during this critical time of growth in Columbus. Atha is poised to lead stating, "Public Utilities provides some of the most vital city services to the residents and businesses of Columbus, and faces rapid growth at the same time that we are moving toward carbon neutrality. I appreciate Mayor Ginther tapping me to take the helm at such a 'pivotal point'."

View the Table of Organization(PDF, 136KB)

Department Mission:
To enhance the quality of life, now and into the future, for people living, working and raising families in central Ohio through economic, efficient, and environmentally responsible stewardship of superior public utilities.

Public Utilities Contact Directory
Find important contact information for the Department of Public Utilities. Utility Non-Emergency Customer Service: (614) 645-8276.

The Division of Water
Services include: meter reading, repair, and inspections; water treatment and distribution through three water treatment plants; maintenance of the water distribution systems, plants and related infrastructure; capital improvements program; and water source protection programs, regulatory compliance and water quality monitoring.

The Division of Sewerage & Drainage
Services include wastewater collection and treatment; maintenance of the storm, sanitary and combined sewer collection systems, treatment plants & related infrastructure; stormwater management, industrial pre-treatment & regulatory compliance programs to protect surface water quality; operation of the Compost Facility which offers Com-Til mulching/soil amendment products; and more.

The Division of Power
Services include competitively priced electricity services, a street lighting program, maintenance, capital improvements and more.

Office of Sustainability
The Department of Public Utilities Office of Sustainability's mission is to protect natural resources and implement sustainable practices in the water, sewer, and power we provide, working to expand environmental education in America’s opportunity city.

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.

Wastewater Treatment
The Division of Sewerage and Drainage operates two wastewater treatment plants, Jackson Pike and Southerly. Wastewater from Columbus and 25 contracting suburban communities flows to one of these two plants.

Public Utilities FAQs
The following is a categorized listing of frequently asked questions, terms and other subject explanation data sets.

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.

Our History
Milestones in the history of the City of Columbus Department of Public Utilities role in; waste water treatment, street lighting, providing municipal power and the supply and management of water.

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.