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Lake in the Hills water tests OK after bacteria

Published: Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 9:01 a.m. CDT

LAKE IN THE HILLS – The village plans to send a message to residents this week about a recent violation of drinking water standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

However, village officials said, subsequent tests have come back clear.

In August, two of the village’s 30 test samples showed the presence of coliform bacteria, “which are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially harmful bacteria may be present,” the village said in a draft notice presented at the Village Board meeting Thursday.

“Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed, and this was a warning of potential problems.”

Coliform itself is not harmful, Superintendent of Water Eric Babcock said.

“There is a level of bacteria present in all water at all times,” he said.

The coliform is what the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency refers to as “nuisance bacteria” and generally it is not harmful.

The extreme heat of the summer led to a surge in positive tests around the state, Babcock said.

The village did perform subsequent testing to see whether other bacteria of greater concern, such as fecal coliform or E. coli, were present.

“We did not find any of these bacteria in our subsequent testing, and further testing shows that this problem has been resolved,” according to the notice set to go out.

The village did perform additional hydrant flushing in the area of Oakleaf and Algonquin roads where the positive samples were found.

The village also increased chlorine dosages at the nearby treatment facilities.

Repeat samples were taken both upstream and downstream of the original sample locations, and “Analysis of these repeat samples showed that no bacteria were present,” according to the notice.

All 30 samples taken in September in the village were clean, Babcock said.

The village said people do not need to boil water or take other corrective actions.

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