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Kendall County Residents: Water Is Still Rusty

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MONTGOMERY, Ill. (CBS) — Rusty water is again a problem in the Kendall County community of Boulder Hill.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, residents of unincorporated Boulder Hill thought their rusty problems had been solved last month. They had been complaining that their hair was turning orange and their appliances being ruined.

But no. The problems are back.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


The residents get their water from nearby Montgomery, and the rust-colored water started pouring from faucets in November, when Montgomery Well No. 14 was being repaired.

Residents tell the Aurora Beacon-News the problem never completely went away.

Resident Tom Rieser said he has used numerous rust-blocking devices and had a special water filter installed that is normally replaced every few months.

“I have to replace it every week or two and after I put the new one in the next day it is turning gold, brown and it is trash,” he said.

Rieser’s neighbor, Jeannine Larsen, said the problem with the rusty water arose again late last week.

“I had just finished replacing the shower curtain and cleaning. Now it is staining all over again. I don’t know why it started again. It is the same smell. It is staining the toilet, tubs and laundry,” she said.

When the well serving Boulder Hill broke down, Montgomery diverted water from other wells to serve the residents. Thus, pipes that had been unused for some time were suddenly in use, and all the rust and sediment that had built up in those pipes started coming out.

At a January meeting of the Montgomery Village Board, some residents brought in independent samples of their water. In some instances, the readings showed iron content that ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 milligrams per liter.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency states that the ingestion of iron in drinking water is not directly associated with adverse health effects, so mandatory iron regulations are not in place. Agency officials said that based on “aesthetic issues” a level of 0.3 milligrams per liter is considered high.

Montgomery village trustees meet Tuesday night, and the Boulder Hill water issue is on the agenda.

“I am in favor of some compensation for residents, but nothing major, “ said Trustee Andy Kaczmarek.

During the past few weeks, the village has received complaints about a petroleum smell coming from the taps of some residents.

After testing, it was determined chemicals that had been found in the water were to blame. Those chemicals came in at low levels and did not pose any health risks, village officials said, but the smell was a concern.

As a result, the main village water treatment plant on Knell Road was shut down, and water was pumped from another well.

The Aurora Beacon-News contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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