CHICAGO (CBS) — Month after month the residents of Volo, Illinois, have turned on their faucets to get brown, foul smelling water, and now they say they have had enough.
Some residents say there could be hundreds affected by the water issues. A village worker said it is not a big deal, but others say it’s gone on too long.
“Probably since I moved in,” said one resident. “Lately it’s been more potent, foul odor. I’m not doing anything until I know things are OK.” ”
“There’s something wrong,” another said. “It’s been off and on for the last several years. It’s probably been going on for a few days now. It hits you as soon as you smell it. Our clothes, kids’ clothes smelling like hard-boiled eggs isn’t what we want to do.”
“I mean almost feces, to be honest,” yet another resident said. “You don’t come out of the shower feeling clean. I don’t want that for my children, and I would hope the mayor wouldn’t want it for his children.”
Construction in nearby neighborhoods is blamed for the problem.
A representative from the village would not speak on camera but did say the work has forced the village to draw water from a different well with noticeable but safe levels of hydrogen sulfide, which is causing the smell.
“As soon as we smelled it last night we did not do any laundry,” another resident said.
The village says it is increasing chlorine to eliminate the odor and emphasizing that the water remains safe, but some are still skeptical.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has received a number of complaints about the issue and sent CBS 2 the following statement:
“We have received a number of complaints this morning. Our Drinking Water staff have been in contact with the water operator and will continue to work with them as they address the concerns of residents. It does appear to be caused by high levels of hydrogen sulfide in the water. The Village of Volo has shut off a well that was known to have high levels. They are also taking steps at their North Plant to reduce hydrogen sulfide levels. Due to the area where most of the complaints are from, Volo is flushing the dead ends of that section to clear the water with high hydrogen sulfide.
At this time, Illinois EPA has no information to indicate the water is unsafe. This appears to be an aesthetic issue, but again, the Agency will continue to monitor the situation and the Village will continue all routine sampling requirements for the water system.”
Volo is flushing its water to clear it of the smell. The village will monitor the situation and continue routine sampling of its water system.