What's Wrong With Your Water?

Water in Hawthorn Woods, IL

Has the Following Known Issues:

City Water

Radium*

High levels of radium have shown an increased incidence of bone, liver, and breast cancer

Lead*

Too much lead in the human body can cause serious damage to the brain, nervous system and red blood cells

In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development

Well Water

Don’t Know?

The EPA states you should test your own water from your well

Orange Staining

IRON – Organic and found naturally occurring in the earth’s crust

Foul Odor

IRON BACTERIA – Causes rotten egg smell and can change the taste of your water and cause dry itchy skin

Hawthorne-Woods-Head-ImageHawthorne-Woods-Head-Mediumhawthorn-woods-water-info-img

Hawthorn Woods, IL Water Information

Website: http://www.vhw.org/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorn_Woods,_Illinois

Water in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois*

The Village of Hawthorn Woods has one deep well drilled to reach the sandstone aquifer below and most homes are on private wells. Residents are permitted by the Health Department to have private wells on their property. While the original water system was installed over 60 years ago, most was replaced by a new distribution system in 2010. Most of the village’s water systems are now directly managed by Aqua Illinois, an incorporated association that provides water and wastewater services to over 3 million residents. Two wells are part of the Hawthorn Woods water system and they are capable of producing 900 gpm together. The system also has an ion exchange system and 370,000 gallon water reservoir.

In recent years, rate increases have been a subject of dispute between residents and the company. Some might say that clean and safe drinking water comes with a huge price tag. But if that’s the case, just how safe is Hawthorn Woods’s Water?

5 Contaminants below the legal limits, but above health guidelines.

In some states a small percentage of tests were performed before water was tested, and some contaminants were subsequently removed or diluted. As a result, some reported levels of contamination may be higher than were present at the tap.hawthorn-woods-water-contaminants-above-health-limit

15 Contaminants found within health guidelines and legal limits.hawthorn-woods-contaminants1

*As reported by the NY Times Toxic Water Report.

Radium is a persistent containment that is found throughout our environment, particularly in Illinois ground water. It is mostly harmless to people at low levels but can cause health problems when ingested. Prolonged exposure to Radium-226 and Radium-228 has been linked with health conditions like lymphoma, bone cancer, leukemia and aplastic anemia.

Another common issue with water in Hawthorn Woods and the surrounding areas is an abundance of Alpha Particle Activity in the drinking water. Alpha particles are a type of radionuclide. The EPA defines a radionuclide as an atom with an unstable nucleus which, to become more stable, emits energy in the form of rays or high speed particles. Alpha particles absorb radiation from a variety of sources and then pass it along when coming into contact with our drinking water.

Local Water Polluters near Hawthorn Woods, IL

Village of Hawthorn Woods (35 Old Mchenry Rd, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois 60047) – 1 Violation

  • 2008 – 1 Permit Violation

About Hawthorn Woods

Map of Hawthorn Woods IllinoisHawthorn Woods is a small village located just 40 miles from Chicago. The town is known for its rural atmosphere, and the residents and local government work hard to preserve this overall feeling while welcoming the exciting offerings of the future. The 10 community and neighborhood park areas give residents plenty of space to play tennis, baseball, and soccer. The parks are beautifully landscaped and offer picnic areas and gazebos. The aquatic center has a competition pool, water slides, and a spray feature for children. It is the home of the Hawthorn Woods Country Club, which has a golf course designed by legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.

 

Governed by the Board of Trustees, including the mayor, this village of 7,600 people is upscale with many of its residents owning homes on more than one acre of land. The police, public works, parks and recreation, finance, and building departments work to keep the community safe, beautiful, fun, and upstanding. The surrounding trees, lakes, and open spaces give Hawthorn Woods the country feel, while the community itself is still growing and changing by adding new and improved recreational areas and businesses. It is the perfect mix of country and class in a well-to-do village.

A vast majority of Hawthorn Woods homes are supplied by private well water.
The most common water issues that need to be addressed include;
Coliform, rotten egg odors, orange staining, hard water (cloudy dishes) & iron or sulphur bacteria.


Coliform in Water

  smelly-water-imgWhat is Coliform?

  • Coliforms are bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also found in plant and soil material.

Are Coliform Bacteria Harmful?

  • Most coliform bacteria do not cause disease. However, some rare strains of E. coli, particularly the strain 0157:H7, can cause serious illness. Recent outbreaks of disease caused by E. coli 0157:H7 have generated much public concern about this organism. E. coli 0157:H7 has been found in cattle, chickens, pigs, and sheep. Most of the reported human cases have been due to eating under cooked hamburger. Cases of E. coli 0157:H7 caused by contaminated drinking water supplies are rare.

Coliform Testing

  • Testing for bacteria is the only reliable way to know if your water is safe. You cannot tell by the look, taste, or smell of the water if disease-causing organisms are in it. The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that well owners test their water for coliform bacteria at least once a year. If you have experienced bacteria problems in the past, it is recommended that you test your well more frequently.

Solution

  • Bacterium can be eliminated with the following processes:
  • Chlorine, Ultraviolet Light, or heavy dosing of hydrogen peroxide.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health recognizes only Chlorine as an effective method of eliminating this bacterium and mentions that either chlorinating the well or continuous chlorination is the proper method for eliminating this issue. Chlorinating the well is only a temporary fix to the issue.
  • CONSIDERATION: Treatment is tricky and many factors must be considered when filtering this contaminant. Flow rates of the well, type of well system and size of plumbing. These bacterium create a “slime” in your water which coats the water molecule and makes treatment very difficult. Bacterium feeds on oxygen and or the organics in your water. Removing the organic without the assistance of chlorine is exceptionally difficult because the bacterium coats the filter material, making it ineffective.
  • Chlorine injection of potable water is the most successful method of treatment for these bacteria. However, chlorine injection may be cost prohibitive and the system requires regular maintenance.

Smelly Water

coliform-in-water-imgWhat is it caused from? (2 likely reasons)

  • Iron or Sulphur Bacteria (Slime in back reservoir of toilets):
    • What is it?: This is a slime bacteria which feeds on organic matter, either iron or sulphur. To survive this bacterium utilizes the organic matter leaving behind reddish, brown, or yellow slime that can clog plumbing and cause an offensive odor. This slime or sludge is noticeable in the toilet tank when the lid to the reservoir is removed.
    • How does it create smell? As this bacteria oxidizes, gases are released containing offensive odors.
    • Is it bad for humans? This bacterium is not known to be hazardous to human health. It has been known to create sour stomach and diarrhea.
    • How do I know if I have it?: Testing for this bacterium will help well owners know if their well is affected. The majority of wells east of the Fox River appear to have this bacterium.

Solution

  • Bacterium can be eliminated with the following processes:
    • Chlorine, Ultraviolet Light, or heavy dosing of hydrogen peroxide.
    • The Illinois Department of Public Health recognizes only Chlorine as an effective method of eliminating this bacterium and mentions that either chlorinating the well or continuous chlorination is the proper method for treating this issue. Chlorinating the well is only a temporary fix to the issue.
    • CONSIDERATION: Treatment is tricky and many factors must be considered when filtering this contaminant. Flow rates of the well, type of well system and size of plumbing. The slime created when this these types of bacteria are present coats the water molecule and makes water treatment very difficult. Bacterium feeds on oxygen and or the organics in your water. Removing the organic without the assistance of chlorine is exceptionally difficult because the bacterium coats the filter material, making it ineffective.
      • Chlorine injection of potable water is the most successful method of treatment for these bacteria. However, chlorine injection may be cost prohibitive and the system requires regular maintenance.
      • Ultraviolet Light requires significant maintenance because the bacterium coats the quartz housing which prevents the light from penetrating the water. In addition, the pretreatment filter material gets fouled with the bacteria and eventually requires replacement or dosing with harsh chemicals to remove the bacteria.
      • Hydrogen Peroxide provides temporary relief if used to shock the well in single treatment. Hydrogen Peroxide is H2O2 and the extra oxygen molecule actually feeds the bacterium making the problem worse.

Hydrogen Sulfide

What is it?:hydrogen-sulfide-img

  • Decomposing plants and animals that have been compacted in the soil. As rain water falls through the ground, it collects decaying matter and accumulates in well water. When this decaying matter mixes with your well water it can appear to be a brown, black oily substance.

How does it create smell?

  • When hydrogen sulfide is exposed to air the organic is oxidized and this process has a byproduct of a foul, “rotten egg” odor.

Is it bad for humans?

  • This organic is not known to be hazardous to humans. In large amounts people complain about sour stomachs or diarrhea.

Will my well water always have it?

  • Hydrogen Sulfide can vary depending on the barometric pressure, rain fall, lack of rain fall and season. Springtime tends to be the worst season for Hydrogen Sulfide.

Solution:

  • Air Injection, Air Stripping, Chlorine Injection, Hydrogen Peroxide Injection and specific filter materials like Activated Carbon have been successful in treating Hydrogen Sulfide.
  • CONSIDERATION: Treatment is tricky and many factors must be considered when filtering this contaminant. Flow rates of the well, type of well system, amount of hydrogen sulfide and size of plumbing.

White Film

What Is It?white-film-img

  • Calcium: One of the earth’s crust most abundant elements. When dissolved in water, it creates hard water. When water contains over 7 grains of hardness the water creates a white haze on glassware and plumbing fixtures. Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming. Water flow may be reduced by deposits in pipes.

Solution

  • Water softeners use the process of Ion-Exchange and rid your home of hard water and eliminates calcium deposits and limited amount of iron.

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