• Megann Horstead

Joliet aims to correct 2017 water monitoring violations


The City of Joliet last week released its 2017 drinking water quality report, and officials say they are working to correct some water monitoring violations.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Joliet City Council, officials were briefed on the efforts of the city’s public utilities department.

The report shows that all water delivered in 2017 met the federal and state guidelines for safe drinking water. It goes on to highlight that Joliet did not “complete all monitoring or testing for lead, copper, nitrate, combined radium and gross alpha and therefore cannot be sure of the quality of our drinking water during that time.”

Since the crisis in Flint, Michigan, a number of participating homeowners for certified sites withdrew from the city’s program, resulting in the collection and testing of 20 out of 50 required samples; they passed.

“Many cities got caught with a similar situation,” City Manager David Hales said.

Staff has taken steps to identify new locations that fit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria. The city anticipates having the required number of participants by this summer.

“We made a lot of effort to encourage new participants,” Interim Director of Public Utilities Allison Swisher said. “We currently have 65 homes that we’re going to present to the EPA to be on this list, and then we will conduct the sampling this summer in July. We’re confident that we will meet the 50 sampling locations that are required.”

The city also did not submit samples of radium, nitrate and gross alpha for testing out of Well 16D.

Swisher said out of the city’s 11 water treatment plants, “one was out of service at the time sampling was conducted due to a water main replacement project that had some unforeseen issues, so the water sampling was not conducted at that water treatment plant.”

These samples were tested earlier this year to determine if they met the requirements; they passed.

“We are confident that the water we’re using does meet water quality standards, and these monitoring violations we will have rectified in 2018,” Swisher said.

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