With the concerns with regards to the Flint, Michigan water crisis, there has been an increased level of concern with the water supply regarding lead within the Village of Morton Grove. The Village of Morton Grove routinely tests its water supply to ensure the highest quality of water for its residents. The Village of Morton Grove would like to insure all of its residents that the water is safe to consume.
The Village of Morton Grove fully complies with the Federal Lead and Copper rule set forth by the EPA in 1991. The Village is required to test homes of residents every three years to ensure that proper levels are met. The village is required to test 30 homes or sites throughout the entire town. The village delivers the sampling kits. The action level set forth by the EPA for Lead is 15 ppb. (parts per billion) These action levels are not health standards but are there to set the amount of Lead in drinking water.
Additional information on the Lead and Copper rule can be found here. https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule#compliance
Where do we get our Drinking Water?
The Village of Morton Grove currently buys its water from the Morton Grove-Niles Water Commission. The Morton Grove-Niles Water Commission obtains Lake Michigan water from the City of Evanston through their water treatment plant at 555 Lincoln St. At this plant, The City of Evanston treats the water with chlorine, fluoride, blended phosphate, and other chemicals to ensure the water is safe, and that it has a clean taste before they send it out to their distribution system. From within the distribution system, is where they connect with the Village of Morton Grove, and we send it to our treatment plants. More information on their treatment plant can be found here.
From the City of Evanston:
Illinois EPA Drinking Water Sampling Update
The Morton Grove-Niles Water Commission purchases drinking water from the City of Evanston and sells it to its Members including the Village of Morton Grove. Recent water sampling detected levels of one PFAS chemical just above the guidance level of 2.0 parts per trillion established by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please see details below from the City of Evanston as well as a link to the City's web site for additional information.
From the City of Evanston:
In 2021, the Illinois EPA began an ongoing sampling investigation of Perfluoroalkyls (PFAS) chemicals in community water supplies. PFAS are human-made chemicals that have been used in industrial and consumer products worldwide since the 1950s.
Evanston results: Illinois EPA testing determined that one PFAS chemical was detected in the City's drinking water just above its guidance level of 2.0 parts per trillion (ppt) – roughly equivalent to one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The levels detected for this chemical, PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid), were 2.2 ppt (9/2/2021), 2.3 ppt (11/16/2021), and 2.2 ppt (11/16/2021). These concentrations are well below the US EPA published Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt.
Next steps: The City is following recommendations from the Illinois EPA and closely monitoring the latest health-based guidance. At this time, no enforceable federal or state drinking water standard, called a Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL, exists for PFAS chemicals.
Basic Facts about Lead in the Drinking Water
Lead is a metal commonly found throughout our environment. It is very uncommon for Lead to be found in rivers and waterways. Also, Lead is rarely found in water distribution plants.
Lead is primarily found in water service lines within the water distribution system. Service lines from the water main, to the buildings may be made with Lead or Copper service lines. Buildings and homes built before 1930 are likely to have a Lead service line. Homes built between 1930 and 1960 can have either a Lead or Copper service line. Homes built after 1960 are likely to only have a Copper service line.
Why Test for Lead?
Lead in Drinking water is tasteless. Young children, senior citizens, and expectant mothers are most vulnerable to exposure to Lead in the drinking water. Exposure to Lead can have very harmful effects on a child’s mental and physical development. Physical and mental Growth can be stunted. It is crucial to make sure that the drinking water at your child’s school or day-care facility provide safe drinking water. Children spend a significant amount of time at these places, and many consume water from the drinking fountains and from the meals that are cooked on site. There is a company in Morton Grove that does water sampling called Environmental Monitoring and Technologies INC. They are located at 8100 N Austin Ave. Their website can be found here. Another laboratory Suburban Laboratories, located in Oak Brook, and Geneva, Illinois can be found below as well.
- Suburban Laboratories, Inc.
For residential home water testing visit drinkingwaterlabs.com
Ways to Reduce Lead in the drinking water
It is imperative that the Village of Morton Grove and its residents work together in reducing the amount of Lead in our drinking water. Even with the safe levels that the Village of Morton Grove has now, it is important to get that number of lead particles down even further. There are a number of ways in which to reduce the amount of Lead in our drinking water. The City of Chicago puts phosphates in the water to coat the lead pipes to prevent Lead from leaching into the water supply
One way to reduce lead is to let your water taps run before use. When water sits and is not moving is when it is likely to contain Lead. When water is constantly moving, it is less likely for Lead to be within your water. Let the water run anywhere from thirty seconds to a couple of minutes.
Another way to reduce Lead in the drinking water is to remove and clean aerators attached to your taps. Lead particles can attach to the aerator over time. One should clean it every few months to ensure proper clean drinking water. Removing old plumbing fixtures is a great way to reduce Lead. Many of the older plumbing fixtures contained or were made from Lead. In 2011, the EPA made revisions to the Safe Water Drinking Act which stated that for something to be considered “lead-free” it had to contain less than 0.25% lead. Brass fittings for pipes are required to be Lead-Free.
It is important to note that boiling water will not reduce the amount of Lead in the drinking water. In fact, it may actually increase the amount of Lead in it. Replacing old Lead service lines from the Water main to the homes is another step to reduce the amount of Lead in the drinking water
Village Of Morton Grove Water Quality Information
The Village of Morton Grove is responsible to provide high quality drinking water. In order to do so, the Village tests the water regularly in order to ensure this. One of the tests we have is to test for Lead and Copper within the water system. This is mandated by the Federal Lead and Copper Rule established in 1991. The village tests the water at thirty different residences around the village every three years as required.
Why Test for Lead?
Lead when ingested in the body can be quite harmful for the consumer. It is extremely harmful for older adults, younger children, and expectant mothers. Excessive consumption of Lead can be harmful for a child’s growth and mental development. One cannot taste Lead in water.
Sources of Lead in a Public Water System
Lead is not commonly found in rivers, lakes, and other waterways. It is rarely found in drinking water coming from a town’s distribution plant. Where it is commonly found though, is from a water service line coming from a Water main into a person’s residence. Prior to 1960, Water Service lines were commonly made from Lead pipes. Also much of the plumbing used in homes was made from lead at that time. Lastly at that time, many brass fixtures contained lead.
Ways to Reduce Lead in the Drinking Water
There are a variety of ways to reduce Lead from within the drinking water. One way would be to flush your system out before using the water to cook or drink. When water settles and stays in place that allows the lead to infiltrate the water system. When water is constantly moving, Lead has no opportunity to infiltrate the system. Run the water from anywhere from thirty seconds to a couple of minutes depending on the length of time water hasn’t been used in the house. Another way is to change the Lead plumbing and Lead service lines connecting to the water main. Since 2014, The Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act states, that the brass fittings cannot contain more than .25 percent lead. Boiling water does not reduce amount of lead in the water, it can have actually have the opposite effect.