Dear Oakwood Residents,
We invited Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) representatives to review and inspect our water treatment plant and water intake this past Tuesday and Thursday to evaluate both the algae content in the source water (Salt Fork River) as well as our treatment process. The EPA recognized a significant algal bloom in our source water and performed on-site testing of the raw water for a common algae contaminant, for which they did not detect. We will provide the written test results once we receive them, which should be early next week.
The EPA also provided guidance for recommended quantities of our new treatment chemicals which are meant to kill the algae and then absorb the algae and their byproducts. The treatment process and approved chemicals, which are designed to kill and break down the algae, cause the algae to release odorous byproducts. Powder activated carbon (PAC) is then added, which is approved by the EPA, in order to absorb algae and algae byproducts, to reduce and remove the odor in the water. It was determined that although the amount of the chemicals being used was increased to better control the recent algal bloom, the PAC should be increased by a greater margin to provide more adequate absorption. We have since increased the rate we are adding the PAC and will continue increasing the PAC and flushing the system until there is odorless water throughout the system, which we expect to take the remainder of the day and possibly into tomorrow.
We recognize that, although the transition to new chemicals which were a component of the treatment plant project successfully reduced disinfection byproducts, they have also resulted in complications for controlling the recent algal bloom.
For that, we sincerely apologize for the disturbance it has caused the community and will again be including a credit on your next bills, in the amount of $25.00. We understand that providing a bill credit does not rectify this situation, which is why we will continue to improve our treatment process and will be installing additional safeguards to better ensure this does not happen again!
- Steve Lubertozzi, President
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