Palatine, IL

Image of a man pouring tap water into a glass.

Water in Palatine, Illinois

The city of Palatine has used Lake Michigan water since 1986. Before that, wells water was used throughout the city. The Village of Palatine formed the Northwest Water Commission with four other municipalities. The Commission built a pipeline from Evanston to deliver Lake Michigan water to these suburbs. The lake water enters the city at two points. The North supply is located on Rohlwing Road and South supply is located on Michigan Avenue near the Combined Services Facility.



The lake water is then stored in ground storage tanks and then pumped through the system to all areas of Palatine. Several wells are kept operational in case of emergency.

Palatine has had issues, specifically in the warm-weather months, with water taste and odor issues. The odd taste can be described as moldy and musty. This taste comes from compounds that are produced by decaying algae. Officials assure village residents that the water is safe and does not pose a threat, but the taste and smell does have a strong effect.

2 Contaminants above legal limits.

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. Results shown are based on individual samples and may not indicate a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which often occurs only after prolonged tests show concentrations above a legal limit.

Alpha Particle Activity
Radium-226 -228
Maximum Result
32.20 PCI/L
10 PCI/L
Legal Limit

3 Contaminants below legal limits, but above health guidelines.

Lead (total)
Average Result
0.22 PPB
2.22 PCI/L
2.75 PCI/L
Health Limit

15 Contaminants found within health guidelines and legal limits.

Arsenic (total)
Barium (total)
Dibromoacetic Acid
Dichloroacetic Acid
Total Haloacetic Acids
Total Trihalomethanes
Trichloroacetic Acid
Xylenes (total)
Average Result
0.37 PPB
38 PPB
6.14 PPB
0.04 PPB
11.80 PPB
20.35 PPB
0.65 PPB
3.06 PPB
7.07 PPM
9.20 PPB
4.40 PPB
13.89 PPB
29.18 PPB
6.25 PPB
0.08 PPB
Health Limit

*As reported by the NY Times Toxic Water Report.

Local Water Polluters near Palatine, IL

Palatine Township (721 S Quentin Rd, Palatine, Illinois 60067) – 1 Violation

  • 2005 – 1 compliance schedule violation

Arlington Plating Company (600 S Vermont, Palatine, Illinois 60078) – 4 Violations

  • 2008 – 4 permit violations

About Palatine

Palatine, IL, located in Cook County about 26 miles northwest of the Chicago Loop, began as a rather swampy area in the early nineteenth century. Early settlers that came to the area mostly populated the more wooded sections of the territory, areas now known as Deer Grove, Plum Grove, and English Grove. In 1835, first settler George Ela established a home near the area of Deer Grove and, around the same time, Ben Porter and Ben Lincoln traveled from Vermont to settle in the area of Plum Grove.

Almost 20 years later, in 1853, the Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad was constructed and spanned across the area. With the new addition of the railroad depot, a town began to develop just south of the Salt Creek Swamp. While some of the local settlers wanted to call the new town “Yankton,” it was eventually decided to name the area after a town in New York called Palatine. Palatine was incorporated in 1866 and by that time a sizeable community had formed, complete with the town’s own Methodist church.

While the initial settlers to the area were “Yankees,” hence the considered name of Yankton, an influx of German settlers began during the 1850s. These German settlers were mostly farmers who joined the established locals in the business of sending produce for shipment to Chicago. By 1869, a substantial Lutheran church was built. As time went on, the town also attracted commuters, but stayed mostly rural up until the World War II, despite the nearby construction of the Northwest Highway during the 1930s.

Things in Palatine remained mostly unchanged from the 1930s to the 1950s. In 1955, the Northwest Toll Road was completed, located only a few miles south of the town’s border. From there, the entire township opened up to rapid motor vehicle travel – this aided in the acceleration of residential development in the area. In order to avoid the very rectilinear appearance of many areas in Chicago’s suburbs, the town of Palatine opted for irregular street patterns while this development took place.

By 1970, residential growth had reached its peak, and Palatine hosted many commuters who wished to work in the city but live in the suburbs. This development left little to no open land in or around the town with the exception of the Palatine Hills Golf Course on the northwestern portion of the territory. Also, Deer Grove Forest Preserve remained intact which was one of the main reasons why early Indian and European settlers were originally drawn to the area.

The town was incorporated in 1955 with the name Rolling Meadows and town’s economy boomed throughout the 1950s and 1960s as more business moved to the area. By 200, Rolling Meadows’ population had grown to over 24,000 residents, with a population that is 19 percent Hispanic, 7 percent Asian, and 3 percent African American. The city also began revamping their commercial areas, located along Kirchoff Road, including corporations such as 3Com, Charles Industries, and Helene Curtis.

Image of a man pouring tap water into a glass.

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