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Drinking Water News Roundup: Illinois community on bottled water for 2 years, Ohio bill hurting streams, infrastructure investments

Drinking Water News Roundup: Illinois community on bottled water for 2 years, Ohio bill hurting streams, infrastructure investments
June 4, 2021 Rachel Duckett
Photo by unknown via peakpx.com cc 0.0

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (WLS) — Lead in water is a problem across the nation that potentially will be addressed by President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, but it continues to plague families’ homes across Illinois.

The ABC 7 I-Team investigated one of the hardest-hit communities where 7,000 residents have to drink bottled water.

An initiative by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to require increased groundwater monitoring near quarry fill sites passed the Senate.

“This clean water initiative is the watchfulness that our constituents expect. Increasing our vigilance to ensure that we have clean water to drink doesn’t just matter —it will matter for generations into the future,” Connor said. “Enforcing standards that keep our water clean means that our communities can grow and thrive for years to come.”

It could soon be illegal for Illinois companies to incinerate a class of potentially cancer-causing substances known as “forever chemicals” because they accumulate in the body and environment without breaking down.

A bill to ban burning the chemicals — known as PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances — passed the General Assembly over the Memorial Day weekend. It was awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature as of Tuesday and would go into immediate effect.

Southwestern Illinoisans who live with poor air quality have raised concerns for years that an incinerator in Sauget operated by hazardous waste disposal company Veolia could burn PFAS, which is found in common household items and in firefighting foam used by the Air Force to extinguish aviation fuel fires.

Michigan:

LANSING, MI (WKZO AM/FM) – Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced grants awarded under the umbrella of the MI Clean Water plan to help Michigan communities strengthen drinking water infrastructure.

More than $5 million in funding will assist state efforts to support local projects that improve drinking water systems.

Those improvements include replacing lead service lines, enhancing water affordability plans and connecting homes with contaminated drinking water wells to safe community water supplies.

Ohio:

For decades, Ohio has had laws in place that protect ephemeral streams.

These streams sometimes only flow after rain or snow melt.

“While they are not like other streams that support fish habitat, ephemeral streams are important in our watersheds because they are located at the top of the watershed, and therefore can affect water quality downstream,” said Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Laurie Stevenson during testimony at the Ohio House Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown visited Toledo Tuesday morning to push for federal investment in water and sewer infrastructure that locally would clean up drinking water, advance the city’s lead abatement schedule, and protect Lake Erie. 

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a proposed $2 trillion investment in nationwide infrastructure that will provide job opportunities in repair and installation work across the country. If passed, federal funding will be directed to help improve Ohio’s clean drinking water infrastructure.

SWANTON, Ohio — Several residents who live at the Arrowhead Lake Mobile Home Park in Swanton are once again upset after having their water cut off. 

They say this isn’t the first time it’s happened, and they don’t believe it’ll be the last. 

It’s been three days now and residents like Elizabeth Hummel, a mother of three, say they’ve been having to deal with getting water from a tank one of her neighbors has set up. 

Ontario:

Long-term drinking water advisories affecting First Nations will take several years longer to fix than what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised, according to a new action plan presented in Parliament. 

The plan, discussed at a House of Commons committee on April 29, was prepared by Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) in response to an auditor general report on access to safe drinking water in First Nations. It estimated that the federal government would not be able to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations until 2023-24 and that it would take until 2025-26 to ensure long-term solutions for a stable drinking water supply in some of the affected nations.

When it comes to water, Bob Cesanek runs a tight ship at home. He rarely waters his lawn. He turns the tap off while brushing his teeth. He even takes “navy showers,” wherein you get wet, turn off the shower, lather up, then resume to rinse.

“My last bill was around $115, and that’s prior to summer coming,” he said. “It’s pretty expensive.” 

Cesanek is one of hundreds of residents in the municipality of Central Elgin who are angry over rising water bills. He said that in the 7½ years since he moved to Belmont, Ont., his water bill has risen more than 50 per cent.

Pennsylvania:

About 250 people living at the Glen Riddle Station apartment complex in Media, Delaware County, are without drinking water, two days after construction on Sunoco’s Mariner East pipeline project likely broke the water line.

While water service has been restored, residents have been advised not to drink it.

Mil­lions of gal­lons of briny, toxic, waste­wa­ter from shale gas drill­ing and frack­ing op­er­a­tions could soon be loaded onto barges and pushed down the Al­le­gheny, Mo­non­ga­hela and Ohio riv­ers.

A loose net­work of river tank ter­mi­nal and barge com­pa­nies has floated plans to be­gin ship­ping waste­wa­ter con­tain­ing pe­tro­leum con­den­sates, can­cer-caus­ing chem­i­cals and ra­dio­ac­tive ma­terial, be­tween as many as seven river ter­mi­nal sites spread out over hun­dreds of miles of the re­gion’s ma­jor wa­ter­ways.

Wisconsin:

The town hall in rural Emerald Township in eastern St. Croix County, Wis. happens to be within sight of one of the biggest industrial livestock facilities in western Wisconsin. A half-mile down the two-lane road, Emerald Sky Dairy’s two huge barns are home to about 1,500 cows that produce 14,000 gallons of milk per day — and a lot of manure.

All the manure is used on nearby agriculture fields as fertilizer. The soil and plants can only absorb so much nitrate, though, and such spreading can lead to pollution of both surface water, like lakes and streams, and groundwater, the aquifers that most of Emerald Sky’s neighbors depend on for drinking.


Catch more news on Great Lakes Now:

Water Access: As moratoria on shutoffs end, old problems return to the forefront

Plastic debris is getting into the Great Lakes, our drinking water, and our food

Great Lakes Water Diversions Could Be More Numerous

Environmental Justice: Michigan’s goal is to be a national leader

Drinking Water News Roundup: What does the American Jobs Plan mean for various Great Lakes states?

Drinking Water News Roundup: 3M sues Michigan, hackers infiltrate Pennsylvania water systems, millions invested in Illinois and Ohio


Featured image: Faucet with dripping water (Photo by unknown via peakpx.com cc 0.0)

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