Aqua Illinois is asking residents to run their faucets as part of a new treatment protocol put in place after elevated lead levels were discovered in the drinking water of several south suburban towns.
On Saturday, the utility company made several announcements to residents still impacted by “do not consume” orders issued after the discovery of the elevated lead levels, including a request for residents to run faucets in their homes for at least 30 minutes to help implement a new treatment program.
Running faucets will apply a new protective coating on pipes in homes, according to the company, but cautioned that it could take weeks for the treatment to take full effect.
Aqua Illinois President Craig Blanchette issued a statement to residents on Saturday, apologizing for the situation and emphasizing the steps the company is taking moving forward.
“My team and I have talked to many of you and I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear,” Blanchette said. “You’re frustrated, scared, and angry. And you have my commitment that we will work hard every day to regain your trust and deliver the high-quality water that Aqua is known for and that you deserve.”
The utility announced that all residents who were ever impacted by a “do-not-consume” order will have their water and sewer bills waived for the month of June.
The company will also provide free lead testing of drinking water, free blood testing to all impacted residents, and free lead testing for homes. Aqua will also continue to deliver bottled water, having already delivered 15,000 cases of water to residents since the elevated lead levels were discovered a week ago.
Finally, the company announced that it will continue delivering information to residents in a variety of ways, including by use of a door-to-door street team and through an information center that will remain open at least through July 1, according to a press release.