2000 Illinois Homes in University Park Without Safe Drinking Water
Due to dangerous lead levels found in tap water, could the Illinois community of University Park become the next Flint, Michigan or Newark, New Jersey? It’s been nearly a month since University Park’s mayor declared a state of emergency sparked by a “do not consume water” advisory made by Aqua Illinois. Aqua Illinois is the private company that supplies water to University Park and other suburbs in Cook, Kane, Kankakee, Lake and Will counties. Aqua officials issued the order after detecting extremely elevated lead levels in the drinking water of 15 properties in University Park, Green Garden and Monee Townships in June of 2019 and suggested the problem would be fixed in just a “few days.” More than 2000 homes and thousands of community members are still without answers and safe to consume their home’s tap water.
Toxic lead exposures can happen in many ways but in this case likely occurred because of unkept, damaged and corroded water pipes and plumbing with lead solder, which allows the lead to leach into the same drinking water pumped into homes, schools, hospitals, businesses and everywhere else the pipes connected.