Press Release

August 25, 2009


State Health Department Recommends Water Well Testing for Sterling

STERLING, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Sterling area to test their water for possible groundwater contamination. Routine testing of Illinois American Water Company’s Sterling community water supply wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) indicates contaminants could be present in the area’s private wells.

The contaminants tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, xylenes, 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, and styrene were detected at levels lower than the Illinois Groundwater Standard. Although the contaminant’s levels were lower than the standard, this is the same groundwater that serves private wells and it is possible the levels of the contaminants may be higher in private wells.

Persons with private wells located within the area (see attached map) south of West 29 th Street, north of the Rock River, east of Galt Road, and west of Griswold Avenue are encouraged to have their water tested for volatile organic compounds by a private laboratory.

For a list of laboratories certified to analyze drinking water for volatile organic compounds, interpretation of test results, contaminant health effects information, and recommendations for individuals who regularly consume well water, contact Clay Simonson, IDPH Rockford Regional Office, 4302 N Main St, Rockford, IL. 61103, phone (815) 987-7511 or

The risk of adverse health effects depends on the levels of contaminants in the water and the length of exposure. Long-term exposure to these chemicals may result in an increased health risk to the liver and kidneys.

The water supplied by Illinois American Water Company’s Sterling community water supply currently meets all United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) drinking water standards.  No violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) have occurred in Sterling’s t reated drinking water. Information about treated drinking water quality has been provided to the residents served by the Illinois American Water Company’s Sterling community water supply yearly since 1999 in the form of a Consumer Confidence Report.

For information concerning the community water supply contact Kurt Neibergall, Manager, Office of Community Relations, Illinois EPA at 217/785-3819

This information has been compiled from historic data and is provided to the public to ensure full disclosure of state records.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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