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Contamination found in Petersburg water

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[NOV. 19, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Petersburg area are advised to have the water tested for possible groundwater contamination, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced today.

Routine testing of the city's municipal water wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency revealed levels of tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE) and trans 1,2-dichloroethylene (trans 1,2-DCE) exceeding the maximum contaminant level, indicating that the contaminants could also be present in the area's private wells.

Although the contaminants were found in Petersburg's source water, contaminants are removed at the city's water supply treatment plant and the water quality meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

People with private wells located within the area east of South Ninth Street extending to the Sangamon River, south of East Rutledge Street and north of Jackson Street, are encouraged to have their water tested by a private laboratory.

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A list of private laboratories approved for testing can be obtained by calling John Smet, Illinois Department of Public Health, at (309) 693-5360. Once samples have been analyzed, residents can call for an explanation of the test results.

Exposure to these chemicals for long periods may increase the risk of liver and kidney damage and impair immune system function and fetal development.

Notice of possible private well contamination is required by 2002 amendments to the Illinois Groundwater Protection Act.

[Illinois Department of Public Health news release]

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