City of Highwood
Drinking Water Alert/Notice September 7, 2018
The City of Highwood samples and tests drinking water eight times per month in various locations around the community to check water quality. During routine sampling two samples indicated the presence of Escherichia coli bacteria (abbreviated as E. coli). Subsequent re-sampling of the drinking water has indicated that the bacteria is NOT present.
Bacterial contamination can occur when increased surface water run-off enters the drinking water source, such as with the heavy rains experienced this past weekend, or it could be from contamination while collecting a sample. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.
The most recent drinking water samplings indicate that E. coli bacteria is not present in Highwood water. Samples were taken from the original locations that indicated the presence of the bacteria as well as additional locations. The City of Highwood’s Water Plant Operators – in consultation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency – have determined that no additional action is necessary at this time
The City nevertheless wanted to notify to residents about the bacterial presence in the samples.
E. coli bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic, meaning they can cause illness, either diarrhea or illness outside of the intestinal tract. The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.
The City tests drinking water samples eight times per month with all samples meeting required Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards prior to the samples this week. We believe the problem has been resolved and will continue monitoring closely and inform residents should there be any further issues.
For any questions, please call Scott Coren, City Manager at the Highwood City Hall at 847-432-1924 or at 17 Highwood Avenue. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.
Please share this information with any interested residents.
Additional information on EColi:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/index.html