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Some Lakewood water wells test positive for E. coli

Village urges private well owners affected by July flooding to test for contaminants

Jonathan Rupe, owner of Northwestern Lawn and Landscape, lays sandbags around a Lakewood home July 26 and pumps water away from the house on Hampshire Lane. The village of Lakewood is urging residents to get their well water tested after late July flooding. A few residents have reported positive E. coli tests to village officials.
Jonathan Rupe, owner of Northwestern Lawn and Landscape, lays sandbags around a Lakewood home July 26 and pumps water away from the house on Hampshire Lane. The village of Lakewood is urging residents to get their well water tested after late July flooding. A few residents have reported positive E. coli tests to village officials.

LAKEWOOD – At first it seemed Lakewood residents were spared the headaches and health dangers of water contamination that can result from severe flooding.

But in the past week, a few residents of The Gates neighborhood notified the village that their private wells tested positive for E. coli.

Some property owners continued to test their well water after initial tests in response to late July flooding indicated the water was safe for consumption.

The residents with positive E. coli tests did several chlorination treatments since the flooding occurred, but the high levels of contamination still came, Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka said Monday.

The village is urging other residents to get their water tested.

“If you live in The Gates and have a private well, particularly if you have a shallow well, you need to have your well tested to ensure that it is in compliance with health regulations,” Serwatka said.

Residents can get a free test kit from the McHenry County Department of Health. To do so, call the department at 815-334-4585, or visit the lower level of Building A at 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, and inform the department the request is related to the July flooding.

Serwatka said some properties in The Gates neighborhood have wells, and the contamination risk might be higher with shallow wells. He was told one contaminated well was 21 feet deep, which is considered “pretty shallow.”

The village has reached out to its engineering firm regarding the matter. For water well tips, visit www.co.mchenry.il.us.

Amid the flooding crisis, Lakewood reached a deal with neighboring Crystal Lake in which Lakewood was linked into Crystal Lake’s sanitation system.

In 26 total hours of pumping from July 27 to July 30, Crystal Lake pumped 470,000 gallons of Lakewood wastewater.

It cost Lakewood $8,560, Serwatka said, which was far more efficient than the emergency 6,000-gallon tankers Lakewood used before making the deal with Crystal Lake.

“We probably spent more on the tankers, and it was not nearly as efficient,” Serwatka said. “Crystal Lake was taking in so much water, and it was constant – a better system.”

Crystal Lake was unable to assist initially because its system was at capacity.

More than 100 residents attended a Lakewood Village Board meeting after the floods and demanded solutions from the village for ongoing sewage and stormwater flooding that hindered residents, many of whom live in The Gates.

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