Press Release

September 9, 2010


State Health Department Recommends Water Well Testing for Private Wells Near Marengo

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

The contaminants benzene and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) were detected at levels lower than the Illinois Groundwater Standard. Although the contaminants’ 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.

Residents with private wells located within the area (map below) north of U.S. 20, east of Illinois 23, south of the Kishwaukee River, and west of the Marengo eastern city limits 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 Joe O’Connor, IDPH West Chicago Regional Office, 245 West Roosevelt Road, Bldg 5, West Chicago, IL. 60185, phone (630) 293-6800 or joe.o’

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.

No violations of State of Illinois or federal drinking water standards have occurred in Marengo’s community water supply . For information concerning the community water supply contact Dean Studer at 217-558-8280 or via email at

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

idph online home
idph online home

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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