Despite Other Communities’ Woes, Park Forest Water Is Safe to Drink

water drop
A water drop. (Enid Martindale – Flickr)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest water is safe to drink, despite the woes other communities are experiencing, including University Park.

The news came Saturday, here via NBC 5 Chicago:

On Saturday, water utility company Aqua Illinois announced that they had found elevated levels of lead in the water of several communities in the south suburbs. Some residents in University Park, Green Garden, and Monee were given notices of the lead issue, and the message unnerved some consumers.

“The first thing that came to my mind was the situation in Flint, Michigan,” University Park resident Sarah Boyd said.

The notice, given via robocall, said that elevated lead levels had been discovered in the water and advised residents not to drink it, even if they own water filters.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are requesting that all University Park, Green Garden, and Monee Township customers not drink, cook, or use tap water for brushing teeth,” the utility company said in a letter Saturday. “You may still use water from the tap to bathe or wash hands.”

Park Foresters are safe, however. The Village of Park Forest is not serviced by Aqua Illinois. The water we drink in Park Forest comes from aquifers hundreds of feet below our feet. The water is then treated at, you guessed it, the water treatment plant. Where is the water plant? 100 Park Street, directly behind — wait for it — Water Street.

“The Village of Park Forest is supplied by groundwater pumped from six wells drilled approximately 300 feet deep into a dolomite limestone aquifer,” the Village says on its website. “The wells are all located within a one-mile radius of the Water Plant. Water is pumped from the wells to the plant where it is softened using a lime and soda ash softening process. The water is also filtered through sand filters. Chlorine is added as a disinfectant and fluoride is added to help prevent tooth decay. Water is then pumped from the plant to the consumer through miles of underground water mains.”

The Village also tests regularly for lead, “The Village is required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to test for lead every three years from IEPA-approved sites. The Village does not have laboratory facilities to test for lead in drinking water, but contracts with a lab certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The most recent sampling period was July/August of 2014. The results are posted on the Village’s website at www.vopfwaterreport.com. The Village complies with all IEPA testing requirements and have met those requirements every year since testing began in 1997.”

“Park Forest’s water system tests for hundreds of additional substances to make certain our water is safe and of high quality,” the website says.

Park Forest water quality reports are available here.

Park Forest Firefighters said in a social media post the firehouse had received calls regarding the safety of Park Forest water:

Copying this from the villages page, as we have gotten some phone calls about it this morning, here at the firehouse.

With the recent news of high levels of lead content in the drinking water of some south suburban communities, residents should take note that this DOES NOT apply to the water supply in Park Forest. As mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), municipalities issue annual Consumer Confidence Reports related to water quality. This includes any violations found in regular testing as verified by an outside vendor approved by the IEPA.

Park Forest’s water supply is in good standing. Residents seeking more information can find details on the Village website under the Public Works Department and water reports. Hard copies of the recently released Consumer Confidence Report can be obtained at the Public Works counter of Village Hall.

Park Forest Firefighters Local 1263

So, drink up. Park Forest water is safe.