Deerfield water tested, boil order continues

August 14, 2013 8:21:01 AM PDT
A boil order continued in north suburban Deerfield Tuesday after reports that fecal bacteria contaminated the water supply.

New test results released Tuesday morning from Saturday and Monday show the water is negative of contamination, but these are preliminary tests and people still need to follow the boil order until midday Wednesday.

The boil order is not a false alarm, officials say. Initial tests were still accurate, officials say, and the contamination may have "worked its way out."

The order came Monday as village officials said the fecal coliform bacteria could make residents sick, especially those with weakened immune systems.

Village officials have not said exactly how the bacteria contaminated the water, but until the contamination is cleared up, residents are being told to boil their water for at least one minute before drinking, brushing teeth, making ice, washing dishes and for food preparation. The health department says the water is safe for bathing.

"It's a bit disturbing to be honest with you. Something like this hasn't happened here before, certainly want to know why," said Dave Schaefer, Deerfield resident.

Warning signs have been posted on village hall water fountains. As residents stock up on bottled water at home, restaurant manager Lee Farber is rolling in his own bottled water, canned soda and a pile of bagged ice for lunch customers at Biaggi's restaurant. They're also boiling water used for cooking.

There are still questions about the source of the contamination . Deerfield Public Works' office says it gets water from a treatment facility in Highland Park, but Highland Park officials say their water is fine.

Businesses were scrambling to cope with the boil order. Some chose to shut their doors, while others just tried to deal with it.

"This is very hard to manage, extremely hard. It puts a lot of stress on our employees and operations. Basically losing about 20 percent of my sales," said Michael Daya, owner, Cooker's.

The restaurants that are open are boiling and storing gallons of water needed to prepare foods. They say also are making sure all other water sources are safe.

"All of our ice bins were emptied, we had ice brought in from Chicago. We had a bunch of Cokes and Sprites brought in as well," said Benny Arifi, Bobby's Deerfield Restaurant.

Officials in Deerfield said Monday they would conduct 10 tests, but it could Wednesday afternoon or later before the village's water supply is given the all clear.


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