CHICAGO (CBS) — Thursday night marks six nights straight without safe tap water for about 1500 homes in University Park.
The water utility company discovered high lead levels in the water last week and told residents to stop drinking it.READ MORE: Two Chicago Police Officers Wounded By Accidental Friendly Fire While Confronting Suspect In Lyons, Police Say
Thursday the company opened an information center for residents. The company, Aqua Illinois, is providing free water by the gallon.
Residents’ questions flow as freely as the water.
“Could it happen again? How long has it been like this?” asked Hailey Laba.
“How do we move forward?” said James Bell.
But they say when it comes to the answers, the tap runs dry.
“I received several, quite a few ‘I don’t knows,” said Bell.
“None of our questions were actually answered,” said Laba.
Aqua said a biannual test last week found elevated lead levels in 15 homes, and to be safe it told thousands of people to stop drinking the water.
The company is now testing to see how many homes are affected in total.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will You See Another Relief Payment?
Several neighborhoods have been cleared, but 1500 homes are still under a “do not consume” advisory.
“We still don’t really understand what’s going on with the areas that are having or showing high levels,” said Debra Taylor.
Aqua said the representatives at the center Thursday helped residents sign up for water testing and filters.
The company sent CBS 2 a statement saying the product used to treat the water may have caused lead to dissolve from older pipes and fixtures into the water.
The company says it has already switched to a new treatment method.
“There’s a declaration that we declared for our emergency meeting on Saturday,” said University Park Mayor Joseph Roudez when asked what the city is doing to hold the company accountable.
Roudez said he is calling on Aqua Illinois to bring its president in to answer questions.
“The main thing that Aqua needs to do is speak to the people,” he said. “And on Saturday I’m not going to accept anything less than Aqua being present with us and my city council talking to the residents.”
Experts say if you live in the “do not consume” area you should not drink the water. You should not cook with it. You shouldn’t sue it to brush your teeth or make ice cubes or prepare formula.MORE NEWS: Pritzker Introduces Electric Vehicle Energy Storage Training Program
Aqua did not provide anyone to answer CBS 2’s questions on camera nor did the company answer a list of questions emailed by CBS 2.