The Illinois Department of Public Health is advising residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Crest Hill area of Illinois to test their water for possible groundwater contamination. Routine testing of the city’s municipal water wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) detected contamination could be present in the area’s private wells.
Although the contaminants were found in Crest Hill’s source water, they are removed at the city’s water supply treatment plant to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards so those on the public water supply are not affected.
Persons with private wells located within the area south of the Elgin Joliet and Eastern Railroad, west of Broadway Street, north of Theodore Street and East of Larkin Street, and the area north of West Ingalls Avenue, west of North Catherine Street, south of Theodore Street, and east of Larkin Street, are encouraged to have their water tested by a private laboratory.
Contaminates detected include 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethylene, dichloromethane, and cis-1,2-dichloroethene, but at below groundwater quality standards.
A list of private laboratories approved for testing can be obtained by calling Illinois Department of Public Health’s West Chicago office at 630-293-6800. Once samples have been analyzed, residents can call the health department for an explanation of the test results.
The risk of adverse health effects depends on the level of contaminants in the water and the duration of exposure. Long-term exposure to these chemicals may increase the risk of liver damage.