The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world. However, each year, outbreaks of illness related to contaminants in drinking water are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People should know where their drinking water comes from, how it has been treated, and whether it is safe to drink. The quality of drinking water from the tap can vary depending on whether its source is a regulated water system or an unregulated small community system or private well.

Tap water from any system can be contaminated by:

  • minerals that occur naturally or part of plumbing, such as Arsenic and Lead
  • viruses, bacteria, and parasites through faulty system construction
  • local land-use practices, such as pesticide and fertilizer use
  • improperly used and disposed of industrial chemicals
  • sewer overflow and poorly constructed septic systems

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates drinking (tap) water from large public water systems across the country. However, about one in seven Americans relies on private wells and small public (non-community) water systems—systems that EPA does not regulate. People who rely on private wells for their drinking water are responsible for ensuring that their well water is safe. (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyhomes/bytopic/water.html)

PUBLIC (NON-COMMUNITY) WATER SUPPLIES

Non-community water systems are mostly comprised of water vending machines at grocery stores, individual buildings, and business campuses such as hospitals, office buildings, schools, factories, strip malls, parks, and churches. Typically, their water comes from well water but can also be from a community supply such as some hospitals. These facilities are monitored by CCDPH through surveying these systems and tracking water testing results. Regulatory guidance and rules are given by IDPH.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Joe Durczak
Phone 847-818-2841
Fax 847- 818-2879
Email: jdurczak@cookcountyhhs.org

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