PLAINFIELD, IL — A day after village officials said they found E. coli bacteria in Plainfield’s water supply, Mayor John Argoudelis said evidence shows the problem isn’t systematic.
The village conducts weekly water sampling to ensure quality water, and on Wednesday, the sample came back “with unacceptable levels” of E. coli bacteria. Argoudelis told Patch that village staff wasn’t made aware of the positive test results until Friday, which is when residents were informed.
“The testing company knew [of Wednesday’s positive test], did the follow-up test and alerted us of both test results on Friday,” Argoudelis told Patch.
Following protocol from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, officials sent out additional samples, which resulted in more positive test results, triggering Friday’s boil order.
As of Saturday, officials are waiting to receive results from a total of 80 samples of water on Sunday and Monday, and if they come back negative, the boil order will be lifted “very quickly thereafter,” Argoudelis said in a statement to Patch.
Another 21 samples were sent out Friday, which came back negative, according to Argoudelis. He said results from an additional 40 samples should come back Sunday, along with another 40 Monday to determine the water’s quality.
The village’s ground storage water was also tested, and water from one tower came back positive with bacteria. The others showed no signs of E. coli or Coliform, according to Argoudelis.
“I commend our staff for their hard work and dedication,” Argoudelis said. “We appear to be on the right path. I appreciate your support and understanding as we work through this methodically, factually and patiently.”
Argoudelis told Patch on Friday that he and other village staff members pride themselves on providing quality water for residents — the village draws its water supply from Lake Michigan. In a Facebook post on Saturday, Argoudelis wrote that staff is working to determine the cause of the contamination and resolve it quickly.
“Now is not the time to point fingers and draw the worst conclusions about village staff and leadership,” he wrote. “This isn’t about politics. This is about our community and our health and welfare.”
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