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Illinois EPA Notifies Watseka Community Water System of Right-to-Know Requirements

Press Release - Friday, January 07, 2022

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) is notifying the owner and operator of the Watseka Community Water System (CWS) that there has been a confirmed detection of vinyl chloride in finished water. This notification is required under Section 25d-3(a) of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. Vinyl chloride was detected in the raw water from Well 6 of the Watseka CWS at a concentration of 3.05 micrograms per liter (ug/L) and confirmed in the finished water at 3.23 ug/L. The drinking water standard or Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for vinyl chloride is an annual average of 2 ug/L. The annual average for the Watseka CWS is 1 ug/L, therefore the annual average does not exceed the MCL.  However, this notification is required pursuant to Section 17.10(c) of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act due to a volatile organic compound (VOC) detection at or greater than 50 percent of the MCL. Section 17.10(c) also requires the water supply to take action to address the concentration of vinyl chloride.

The Watseka CWS consists of 2,500 direct service connections, supplying drinking water to an estimated 5,500 individuals. Watseka also provides water to Sugar Creek Manufactured Homes Community, LLC, which consists of 46 direct service connections, supplying drinking water to approximately 115 individuals.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Act requires the owner or operator of the community water system to provide notification to its customers regarding this contamination by mail, email, post card, text message or telephone within five business days of official receipt of the Illinois EPA's notice. Within seven days of sending the notices, the owner or operator of the community water system must provide the Illinois EPA with written proof that the notices have been sent.

This press release and other appropriate notifications will be posted on the Illinois EPA website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/drinking-water/public-water-users/Pages/notices.aspx.

Vinyl chloride is a manufactured substance that does not occur naturally. It is used to make polyvinyl chloride, which is used in various plastic products. A FAQ factsheet can be found on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website at: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/TSP/ToxFAQs/ToxFAQsDetails.aspx?faqid=281&toxid=51.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is also being notified due to the detection exceeding the Groundwater Standard. The Department provides information on vinyl chloride at: http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/factsheets/vinyl-chloride.htm.

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