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Illinois EPA and DuPage County Health Department Report No Contamination of Private Water Wells Near Sterigenics Facility

Thu January 10, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kim Biggs (IEPA) - 217-558-1536
Don Bolger (DCHD) - 630-221-7374

Official Notification Sent to Individual Well Owners 

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Alec Messina and DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) Executive Director Karen Ayala today announced that results of well sampling near the Sterigenics facility in Willowbrook showed no signs of groundwater contamination. Although this was the expected outcome based on Illinois EPA's understanding of the local geology and well depth, the sampling was done in response to the concerns of residents and local officials of possible contamination of ethylene glycol from the Sterigenics facility and emissions of ethylene oxide.

"While we knew the risk of contamination was low, it was abundantly clear that the residents of Willowbrook and the surrounding areas needed answers," said Director Messina. "We are pleased the laboratory results confirmed our expected outcome, and we thank the DuPage County Health Department for their assistance."

In December 2018, the Illinois EPA and DCHD worked together to identify private wells, obtain access agreements and develop a thorough sampling plan and Quality Assurance Project Plan. More than 55 samples were taken from residences where Illinois EPA obtained access agreements. These samples were taken on the morning of Thursday, December 13 from an outside faucet (or spigot) and sent to independent certified laboratories for analysis. The sampling and lab analysis was conducted at no cost to the homeowner.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health have already sent letters to individual well owners informing them of the findings. Meanwhile, Illinois EPA continues to work cooperatively with the Attorney General's Office in an effort to bring meaningful relief to Willowbrook and surrounding communities.

In addition to the recent sampling, homeowners are encouraged by Illinois EPA and DCHD to have their private drinking water wells tested annually for bacteria and nitrates. For more information, visit: https://www.dupagehealth.org/upload/Water_testing_Flyer.pdf or https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/drinking-water/private-well-users/Pages/well-water-testing.aspx.

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