Sauk Village drinking water contaminated: Ill. EPA - KMSP-TV

Sauk Village drinking water contaminated: Ill. EPA

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SAUK VILLAGE, Ill. (FOX 32 News) -

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said the public drinking water in the Cook County community of Sauk Village is polluted.

They test the well water regularly in Sauk Village, but the state EPA's independent tests came back alarmingly high in levels of vinyl chloride, which officials said can affect public health and can be linked to cancer.

Residents said their water smells bad, so they drink well water. But they're upset to learn that it's a health hazard. Health officials said drinking contaminated water over a period of time can increase the risk of cancer.

Vinyl chloride is a gas used in manufacturing. But officials say it's impossible to trace the source.

Sauk Village gets water from wells in town and Mayor Lewis Towers said he has pushed to discontinue using well water, and wants his village to bring in Lake Michigan water. But he acknowledges that could be costly.

The EPA gave local officials five days to notify customers. Village authorities will have a conference call with the IEPA this afternoon and invite the public to a meeting at the village hall at 7 p.m.

The maximum contaminant level for drinking water is 1 part per billion. It was detected in Sauk Village water at 1.68 ppb.

The town of about 11,000 straddles the border of Cook and Will counties.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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