Press Release

May 26, 2009


State Health Department Recommends Water Well Testing for Fox Lake Area

FOX LAKE, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Fox Lake area to test their water for possible groundwater contamination. Routine testing of the city’s municipal water wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) indicates contamination could be present in the area’s private wells.

Water supplied by Fox Lake’s community water supply (CWS) meets all United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) drinking water standards. No violations of drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels have occurred in Fox Lake’s treated drinking water. Information about treated drinking water quality, including detections of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), has been provided to the residents served by the Fox Lake CWS in the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 Consumer Confidence Reports.

IEPA has initiated an investigation to identify possible sources of contamination in the recommended test area.  Potential sources of contamination include two Fox Lake dry cleaners in the northern part of the notice area.  Located at 41 East Grand Avenue and Lakeland Plaza, these dry cleaners may have contaminated the groundwater with dry cleaning-related solvents in a small portion of the overall notice area. Residents and businesses within a 0.3 mile radius of these potential sources will receive a formal notice with additional information about the sources, the potential contaminants, and recommended responses.  If additional sources of contamination are identified in the recommended test area, IEPA will notify the potentially affected residents.

Persons with private wells located within the area south of Fox Lake, east of Pistakee Lake, north of West Glenayre Street, and west of Hickory Avenue, are encouraged to have their water tested by a private laboratory.

The contaminants dichloromethane and benzene were detected at levels greater than the groundwater standards. Tetrachloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methyl tertiary butyl ether, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, and trichloroethylene contaminates were also detected, but at levels lower than the groundwater standards.

A list of private laboratories approved for testing can be obtained by calling the IDPH West Chicago office at (630) 293-6800. Once samples have been analyzed, residents can call IDPH for an explanation of the test results.

The risk of adverse health effects depends on the level of contaminants in the water and the length of exposure. Long-term exposure to these chemicals may increase the risk of liver, kidney, bone, and blood effects.

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

idph online home
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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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