SAUK VILLAGE, Ill. (CBS) — Residents of Sauk Village can stop drinking bottled water, after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced the chemical vinyl chloride is no longer being detected in the village’s drinking water supply.
The village has been supplying residents with bottled water for about a month, after officials advised them not to drink tap water because of vinyl chloride contamination. The chemical is a known carcinogen and can be dangerous given long exposure.
It’s a problem that had been on the village’s radar for three years, but last month reached levels that, according to state law, required local residents be notified of contamination.
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On Tuesday, Sauk Village residents were told the tap water is now safe to drink.
“The finished water – which is the water that goes into the distribution system in Sauk Village – is now free of vinyl chloride,” said Illinois EPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson.
The Illinois EPA stepped in last month to provide temporary air strippers in the Sauk Village wells to eliminate vinyl chloride from the water supply.
With the equipment continuously running, village leaders have a bit of time to consider a permanent fix.
Carson said installing permanent air strippers would be a viable long-term solution.
Sauk Village voters have approved a plan to replace well water with Lake Michigan water, but that fix would cost $20 million.
Carson said a permanent air-stripping solution would be much less expensive.