News Briefs: Suburban Chicago Residents Warned About Elevated Lead Levels

Also in this week's sewer and water news, the Michigan Attorney General has dismissed pending charges related to the Flint Water Crisis and plans to open a new investigation into the matter

Some residents of suburban Chicago found out Saturday morning — courtesy of some bottled water on their front stoops paired with an announcement from their water utility — that their water was unsafe to drink due to elevated lead levels.

The utility, Aqua Illinois, told customers they found high levels of lead in some communities in the south suburbs of the city.

“The first thing that came to my mind was the situation in Flint, Michigan,” University Park resident Sarah Boyd tells NBC TV-5 Chicago.

The actual announcement came in the form of a robocall telling residents not to drink their tap water. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are requesting that all University Park, Green Garden, and Monee Township customers not drink, cook or use tap water for brushing teeth,” the utility company said in a letter. “You may still use water from the tap to bathe or wash hands.”

The utility is planning to flush hydrants in the area and put a treatment protocol into effect.

Attorney General Dismisses Flint Water Crisis Charges

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Attorney Generals’ Office has dismissed all pending criminal charges that came as a result of the Flint Water Crisis and will start from scratch with an expanded investigation.

Charges were dismissed for eight remaining defendants including those against the former director of the Department of Health and Human Services, other health department officials, two former Flint emergency managers and employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the City of Flint.

A statement from the Attorney General says the dismissals were in response to problems with the original investigation and that it’s possible the original defendants will be recharged or that new defendants will be charged.

Philadelphia to Reopen Intersection After Yearlong Water Main Fix

The City of Philadelphia’s water department is finally planning to reopen roadways at Juniper and Sandom streets in Center City after a yearlong effort to fix a 48-inch water main that had burst last July.

The break caused more than 14 million gallons of water to flood the area and left nearby buildings without power and running water for a couple weeks. About 30 businesses sustained damage of some kind due to the break, but countless others have been affected by the restoration process and street closures.

Most of the delay was due to a cumbersome inspection process and weather-related problems.


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