'An abundance of caution': Lake County says some residents should keep boiling tap water

Despite assurances from the utility company serving the area that their tap water is safe to drink, hundreds of residents in southern Lake County should continue boiling that water before use, county officials said Monday.

"The precautionary boil order remains in effect for Lake County Public Works customers in the Forest Lake and ... Glennshire subdivisions," a statement issued Monday by the county read.

Glennshire is in Hawthorn Woods; Forest Lake is in a nearby part of unincorporated Lake County. About 300 customers are in those neighborhoods, Lake County spokesman Alex Carr said.

The county's directive is different from the one issued Sunday afternoon by Aqua Illinois, the company providing water to the roughly 1,200 customers in Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer and unincorporated Lake County who were affected by the emergency.

At that time, Aqua said it was ending its boil advisory because "water quality tests from a third-party lab indicate that our water is safe for use and meets the necessary approval by the Illinois EPA."

On Monday, Lake County spokesman Alex Carr said the county's public works department is conducting additional tests to ensure the water is safe to drink.

"In an abundance of caution, we are performing standard testing as we would in response to any precautionary boil order and will not rely on Aqua Illinois' test results," Carr said. "Anything within our water system, we're going to test."

Results are expected back Tuesday.

For more than a week, Aqua Illinois's customers in the area have had to boil tap water because of broken or leaky pipes and fire hydrants serving their neighborhoods. Some went days without running water.

Aqua Illinois, the Salvation Army, the county and local governmental agencies teamed to distribute free bottled water at the Hawthorn Woods Aquatic Center, 94 Midlothian Road, during the crisis. That assistance resumed Monday afternoon after the Daily Herald reported it had lapsed that morning.

Lake County officials remain "very concerned" about the crisis and plan to follow up with Aqua Illinois, Carr said.

Additionally, county officials will discuss the matter with Hawthorn Woods and Kildeer leaders and review their agreement with the company to determine what steps should be taken, if any, he said.

"There will be ongoing conversations in the coming weeks," Carr said.

Republican state Sen. Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods and Democratic state Rep. Nabeela Syed of Palatine have been monitoring the situation and speaking with affected residents, too.

Syed has repeatedly pledged to investigate the water system failure and develop legislation that will ensure accountability and prevent such problems from happening in the state.

Syed praised Lake County officials for maintaining its boil order while conducting additional safety tests.

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