Customers of a water utility serving parts of southern Lake County have been ordered to boil tap water or use bottled water because of a system failure.
Hundreds of Aqua Illinois customers in Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer and some nearby unincorporated communities are affected. The problem was caused by a leak in the regional system, which already had a low water supply because of the ongoing drought, Aqua spokeswoman Brittany Tressler said Monday.
Lake County officials, the Lake County Emergency Management Agency and the Salvation Army delivered four pallets of bottled water to the Hawthorn Woods Aquatic Center, 94 Midlothian Road, on Monday to help affected residents and businesses, county spokesman Alex Carr said.
The Aqua Illinois water system in the region is based near Midlothian and Old McHenry roads. It includes two groundwater wells, an ion exchange system to treat the water supply, a 370,000-gallon water storage reservoir and miles of water mains, according to the Lake County public works department’s website.
Kildeer resident Barb Novak discovered her house in the Hawthorn Hills neighborhood didn’t have running water about 7 a.m. Sunday when she tried to fill a water bowl for her dogs, Joy and Brodie.
“The faucet sort of fizzled and spit, and nothing much came out,” Novak said. Neighbors reached via text messages and a local Facebook group confirmed they shared the predicament, she said.
Novak bought bottled water to get through the holiday weekend. She said water eventually started coming from her taps about 11 a.m. Monday — but with less pressure than usual.
Even though water may be flowing again, people should boil water for at least five minutes before use, Carr said. That order will remain active until laboratory tests confirm water quality has been fully restored, he said.
“At this time, there is no timetable on when the precautionary boil order will be lifted,” Carr said.
Hawthorn Woods Mayor Dominick DiMaggio said his village’s staff “has been working around the clock with Aqua” to resolve the emergency as quickly as possible.
In addition to boiling tap water, Aqua is urging affected customers to conserve water by not watering lawns or plants outside, taking shorter showers, minimizing the use of washing machines and dishwashers and not letting water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
Aqua Illinois serves about 280,000 people in 14 counties, its website states. Its parent company, Pennsylvania-based Essential Utilities, serves 3.2 million people across eight states.