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Crystal Lake Water Supply Right to Know Notification

Post Date:12/04/2009 10:00 AM

For more information, contact:
Eric Lecuyer, Director of Public Works
815-356-3614 (office)
815-790-6095 (cell)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 4, 2009

CRYSTAL LAKE – In August 2009, a new state law went into effect that requires all public water suppliers to notify their users if the level of trichloroethylene (TCE) or other volatile organic contaminants (VOC) in the water supply exceeds one-half the maximum allowable level. TCE is a nonflammable, colorless liquid used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts. After the discovery of elevated levels of TCE in another Illinois community, the State legislature took measures to ensure that users of public water supplies throughout the State were notified upon any detection of TCE in their drinking water.

The City of Crystal Lake has received notice from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) that the City’s water supply exceeded a threshold for notification, but remains below the federal and state-regulated safe drinking water standards. The City will be sending precautionary notices, as required by the IEPA, to all water customers informing residents that levels of TCE were detected at 2.9 parts per billion. Safe drinking water standards allow up to 5.0 parts per billion in the water supply. While the levels of TCE in Crystal Lake’s drinking water do exceed 2.5 parts per billion, they are still well below the maximum level allowed by the state’s safe drinking water standards. Although the City is required to send notifications, Crystal Lake’s water supply remains safe.

Since 2000, the City has been disclosing the level of TCE in its water supply in the annual water quality reports, which are distributed each year to all of the City’s water supply customers. This substance was first detected in Crystal Lake in 2000, but has never exceeded unsafe levels. Since that time, the City has worked closely with the IEPA to monitor the TCE levels in the community on a quarterly basis.

The suspected source of TCE in Crystal Lake is a manufacturing business, which has been involved in an ongoing effort to remove this compound. Remediation efforts have been underway since the discovery of the contamination.

The City will continue to work closely with the IEPA to make sure that the City’s water supply continues to meet all safe drinking water standards.

The IEPA will post a press release and other appropriate notifications on its web site at:

A factsheet containing complete health information for TCE can be found on U.S. EPA’s website at:

Additional information can also be found on the City’s website,

In addition, please click here to visit the City's Public Water Supply page on the website.

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