Approximately 1,500 customers remain impacted by a “do not consume” water advisory in several suburban towns, and hundreds of residents attended an informational meeting to ask questions about what comes next.
Earlier this year, Aqua Illinois officials issued a “do not consume” order after elevated lead levels were detected in the water supplies of several south suburban towns, including Monee, Manhattan, and University Park. After several treatment protocols narrowed down the focus to residents in University Park, approximately 1,500 people remain impacted by the order.
At an informational meeting on Thursday, the company told residents that they can now consume the water in their homes if they follow two steps. First, residents will need to install a filter, provided for free by the company. The second step is to allow water to run through the filters for 2-to-3 minutes before drinking.
Aqua officials say the initial problem, first reported earlier this summer, was caused by pipes built in homes before 1990. There is no lead in the source water the company pumps into homes, or in the distribution lines. To address the issue, the company has implemented a new treatment procedure that will solve the issue by coating problem pipes.
The fix will take months to fully implement, and in the meantime, those 1,500 residents impacted by the “do not consume” order are being told to install the water filters on their faucets and to run water through them.
Some residents were dissatisfied with the company’s assurances that the water will be safe to drink after installing the filters, citing the amount of time it took to resolve the issue.
“As a nurse, I’m just gonna say, we’re not gonna use the water,” resident Cynthia Hudson said.