A water outage in southern Lake County stretched into a fourth day Wednesday and forced a local water park to close.
Distribution of free bottled water for affected residents in Kildeer, Hawthorn Woods and nearby parts of unincorporated Lake County continued Wednesday, too, courtesy of the villages and the Salvation Army.
Bottles are available to Aqua Illinois customers at the Hawthorn Woods Aquatic Center, 94 Midlothian Road, while supplies last.
That water park was closed Wednesday because of the crisis.
“We will reopen as soon as water service is restored and we can safely operate,” an emailed statement from the village read.
The service outage began Sunday morning. Roughly 1,200 Aqua Illinois customers were affected, the company said, and many got water service back by Monday night.
A leaking fire hydrant in Hawthorn Woods initially was believed to be the culprit. But even after that leak was repaired, some customers’ taps remained dry, indicating problems elsewhere in the system.
In Kildeer, homes in the Wentworth, Westbury and Sanctuary Club subdivisions have been affected, Chief Village Officer Michael Talbett said. All three are newer neighborhoods.
Sanctuary Club residents have water with low pressure, but folks in the other two neighborhoods are dry, Talbett said.
David Bennett is among the customers in the Wentworth subdivision who lost running water Sunday. He’s bought gallons of water so his family can stay hydrated and fill toilets, and they’ve been showering at their gym.
“We try to eat off paper plates and (use) plastic utensils,” he said. “You still need pots and pans to cook, though. We’ve rinsed and reused some, but several others are piling up in the kitchen sink.”
Water started trickling out of the Bennett family’s taps Wednesday morning. There isn’t much pressure.
“We can fill a pot from the kitchen sink in about five minutes,” he said. “The pressure is not strong enough from a shower head. It just drips.”
Some affected Kildeer residents took their complaints to village hall Wednesday morning. But Talbett didn’t have much information to share.
Aqua’s service contract is with the developers who built the affected homes, not the village, Talbett said. The company “has not been very communicative with us,” he said.
More customers should have service today, Aqua spokeswoman Brittany Tressler said.
Water from elsewhere in Aqua’s regional service area will be used to fill the company’s 370,000-gallon tank in Hawthorn Woods and help maintain system pressure, she said, and customers in the affected communities should refrain from watering lawns and plants Wednesday.
Customers whose water service returned should boil it for at least five minutes before use. Low water pressure can allow contaminants into a water supply.
The boil advisory will remain active until laboratory tests confirm water quality is restored, Lake County spokesman Alex Carr said.
“Bacteriological samples were collected and analyzed in the (Lake County public works) systems and so far, there are no signs of water quality impairment,” Carr said. “Follow up testing will be performed after the issue is resolved.”
Aqua Illinois is updating customers online at aquawater.com/iljuly2023.php.