In the wake of contamination of Deerfield’s water, which is purchased from Highland Park, last month a number of people have asked Patch whether there was any problem with the City’s water.
Some readers raised the question on the Highland Park Patch Facebook Page and in emails to Patch. The water is fine, according to Highland Park Water Production Superintendent Don Jensen.
“Once water leaves the treatment plant it travels through miles of distribution pipeline before it reaches the ultimate consumer,” Jensen said in an email to Patch. “Along the way there is a risk of contamination from sources such as water main breaks, improper plumbing connections and absent or malfunctioning backflow prevention devices.”
Because of what can happen as water flows from its source to the ultimate customer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a number of safeguards both from Highland Park as a water provider and the community which purchases it and resells it to its residents.
The water samples collected in Deerfield which tested positive for fecal coliform are an example of EPA scrutiny, according to Jensen.
“The chlorine residuals were normal,” Jensen said. “Because coliform organisms are quickly killed by chlorine, this indicates that the contamination was localized and recent.” There were no other reports of contamination in water originating in Highland Park.