Residents frustrated as local boil order pushes three months

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Some residents say they're frustrated because they spent nearly three months under a boil order with no end in sight.

The Village of Wataga, Illinois has been under a boil order for nearly three months.

The problem originated in July 2014 when the pump that pulls water from the well broke down, according to Wataga's Village President Eli Calkins. The village replaced the faulty pump with a new one, but the water supply had not yet passed the strict water-quality standards enforced by the Illinois EPA.

"Right now, the EPA wants us to pump as much water to waste as we can. Then we just keep testing and keep trying," said Calkins.

The village had spent nearly $10,000 in efforts to repair the problem as of September 22, Calkins said.

The village's water supply must undergo two tests. Once the water passes both tests, the boil order can be lifted, but the water had yet to pass either test.

Recently, the village hired an independent company to test the water, Calkins said. In addition, the well has been "shocked" with chlorine twice in two months, in an attempt to eliminate excessive bacteria.

For businesses in Wataga like Casey's General Store, the ongoing boil order has taken a toll on the customers and the employees.

"Every day, a manager has to drive to our store in Galesburg to get water," said Jessica Benson, manager of the Wataga Casey's General Store.

Customers also cannot purchase popular fountain drinks or cappuccinos, Benson said.

Village officials did not expect water rates to rise in connection with the water supply expenditures.

2 comments

  • J. Simpson

    Thank you for coming to Wataga. However, the real question has still not been answered. The Village REFUSES to tell residents what EXACTLY is in the water causing the 2 tests to fail! As for the Illinois EPA, they will not anser the question either!

  • jnsjas

    Now, that little quip about not having to have to raise the rates yet, That is an out and out threat because we got fed up enough to get the news involved to try to get an answer!

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