Where Our Water Comes From
The water delivered to you by the Village of Alsip Water Department is surface water from Lake Michigan. The Village of Alsip buys its water from the City of Chicago. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that the quality of Lake Michigan water has improved dramatically throughout the last 20 years. Lake Michigan, by volume is the second largest of the Great Lakes and the only one located entirely in the United States. At the present time, the City of Chicago and 125 suburban communities receive water from Lake Michigan.
Treating Our Water
The treatment process consists of three main steps:
1. First, raw water is drawn from Lake Michigan and sent to large basins where three different chemicals are added and mixed in. First, chlorine, which kills bacteria and other microorganisms. Second, fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay. And finally, aluminum sulfate (alum) is added and gently mixed in. The addition of alum causes small particles to adhere to one another (called floc), making them heavy enough to settle to the bottom of the basin from which the sediment is removed.
2. At this point, the water is filtered through layers of fine coal and silicate sand. As smaller, suspended particles are trapped in the small spaces between the grains of sand, turbidity is removed and clear water emerges.
3. Chlorine is added again as a precaution against any bacteria that may still be present. Finally, the water is pumped to underground reservoirs, water towers and into your home or business.
Disinfection of drinking water has made many once-common diseases, like typhoid and cholera, a thing of the past in the United States and other developed countries. The Water Department carefully monitors the amount of chlorine, adding the lowest quantity necessary to protect the safety of your water without compromising taste. If you detect a chlorine taste or smell in your water, try refrigerating it before drinking.
Consumer Confidence Report
Demonstrating our commitment to public health protection and the public’s right-to-know about local environmental information; the Village of Alsip Water Department compiles an annual water quality report. The report, also known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), contains fundamental information about Alsip’s drinking water and includes:
• the source of the drinking water
• a brief summary of the susceptibility to contamination of the local drinking water source
• the level (or range of levels) of any contaminant found in local drinking water, as well as EPA’s health-based standard (maximum contaminant level) for comparison
• the likely source of that contaminant in the local drinking water supply
• the potential health effects of any contaminant detected in violation of an EPA health standard, and an accounting of the Water Department’s actions to restore safe drinking water
• the Water Department’s compliance with other drinking water-related rules
• an educational statement for vulnerable populations about avoiding Cryptosporidium
• educational information on nitrate, arsenic, or lead in areas where these contaminants may be a concern
• phone numbers of additional sources of information including the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791)
A copy of the Village of Alsip’s CCR can be found here: Water Quality Reports
For additional information about the Village’s water source or its water treatment process, please contact the Water Department at (708) 385-6902 extension 323 or 325.